INDIA: IMPORT DUTY ON GOLD RAISED, INDUSTRY BODIES RAISE CONCERNS
Earlier this week (July 5), India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Annual Budget 2019 in Parliament, stating that the government plans to increase import duty on “precious metal, gold and silver” from 10% to 12.5%. According to Gem Konnect, several gem and jewellery bodies in India reacted “with disappointment” at the decision.
GJEPC Chairman Pramod Agarwal said: “The gem & jewellery industry is going through very tough times with a decline in exports and job losses and the industry expected some positive announcement as encouragement to our sector […] the increase of import duty on gold and silver with no decrease in import duty on processed diamonds and gemstones will result in growth of business in neighbouring countries as the foreign tourists will stop buying jewellery from India, and processing of larger diamonds will shift to competing countries such as China and Vietnam”.
The Jewellery Domestic Council (GJC) said the increase would have a negative impact on the indigenous gem and jewellery industry, adding that “that a skilled labour force of over 5.5 million that is engaged in the manufacturing of jewellery for the domestic sector is likely to be negatively affected”.