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GJEPC Chairman reacts to Union Budget 2010-11
India's gem and jewellery industry expected a more supportive budget
By: Diamond World News Service
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Mar 2 2010 8:12PM
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Reference: 4713  

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India’s gem and jewellery industry has not been too happy with the country's Union Budget, 2010-11 announced by Honorable Finance Minister, Shri Pranab Mukherjee. At present, trading is witnessing an upward movement, exports are seeing a positive future and the country’s gem and jewellery industry is facing challenges posed by the growing influence of highly competitive markets across the world, and the Union Budget was expected to help address these situations. Reacting to the budget, Mr. Vasant Mehta, Chairman of the GJEPC said, “With unprecedented recession faced by the industry in recent past, the Industry needs constant support and aid from the Ministry. This industry which is on a recovery mode has posted $25 billion of exports in 2008-09. One area where the Budget could have helped the Industry was by lowering down the rate of presumptive profit under benign tax procedure, which has been our demand for a while now; as it would have helped India to truly establish itself as an international hub for diamonds, Gems & Jewellery.”

Some Budget announcements received a favourable response including:

-Government is committed to ensuring continued growth of SEZs to draw investments and boost exports and employment. Continuance with SEZ promotion will help the G&J units in the SEZs

-Implementation of Direct Tax Code (DTC) and Good & Services Tax (GST) from 1st April, 2011

-The announcement of the finance minister to develop skilled manpower in the country as the sector will benefit from the recently sanctioned funds for Indian Institute of Gems & jewellery (IIGJ), Jaipur under this scheme by the National Skill Development Council

Mr. Mehta expressed the following points post budget:

-2 percent of subvention not being extended to the industry would hurt the sector, as the cost of manufacturing would increase in comparison to competitive countries, thus affecting India’s exports.

-The local consumption of gold & silver jewellery may reduce owing to the increase in excise duty and this in turn may affect the skilled workers from this sector.

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