Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], July 8 (ANI): The GemJewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) has urged the government to reduce polished diamond import duty from 7.5 to 2.5 per cent so that the country can emerge as a global hub and increase duty collections due to greater volumes.
It also proposed a direct sale of rough diamonds by miners in special notified zones (SNZs). Currently, rough diamonds are sent to SNZs by miners for viewing and shipped back to Dubai or Antwerp.
The sales are currently not permitted. If they do take place, they come under the permanent entities category as per the Income Tax Act and attract tax.
"The same goods are then shipped back to India via offices in Dubai or Antwerp, thus increasing costs for the importer. As much as 60 per cent of the rough is routed through Antwerp or Dubai," said GJEPC Chairman Colin Shah.
The council has requested Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman that if customers in India choose to confirm their orders, an invoice can be made within the SNZ. Miners can pay a turnover tax not exceeding 0.16 per cent (the prevailing rate in Belgium).
Besides, GJEPC asked the government that the gem and jewellery sector be granted as a priority sector status in order to bring in operational benefits, said Shah.
He said the council also stressed upon the need for a dedicated system-driven fast track customs clearance of shipments for the gems and jewellery goods valued below 800 dollars. (ANI)