India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council (GJC) has sought reduction in import duty on gold in the upcoming Budget.
“The 10 percent import duty on gold was levied to curb Current Account Deficit (CAD). However, India’s trade deficit narrowed to 2.5 percent of GDP in 2019,” said GJC Chairman Anantha Padmanaban.
He further said that reduction in the gold duty will directly reduce social and economic menace in the country.
GJC is a national trade federation established for the promotion and growth of gems and jewellery trade across India. It represents over 4,00,000 players comprising manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and distributors.
To unlock family gold reserves of up to 24,000 tonnes and help reduce CAD, GJC urged that the government must allow exemptions to households for minimum 500 grams of gold deposited under Gold Monetary Scheme (GMS), being of ancestral nature, from being questioned by any tax department.
Among other recommendations, the council has proposed exemption from capital gains.
“We request the government that in case of jewellery sold is reinvested in new jewellery, the exemption from capital gain as per Section 54F of the Income Tax Act 1961 should be extended to G&J industry,” said Shankar Sen, Vice-Chairman, GJC.
According to Sen, exempting capital gains will help the industry to move towards organised and compliant business practices.
With respect to credit card commission levied by banks, the council has proposed the government to waive off the bank commission or reduce it to 0.20 percent.
GJC also urged that the purchase limit in cash must be increased to Rs 1,00,000 per day from Rs 10,000 per day currently.
The council also recommended raising PAN (Permanent Account Number) card limit from Rs 2 lakh to 5 lakh.
They also proposed the facility of EMI should be extended to the Gems & Jewellery Industry as Finance Minister in 2018 budget had announced as an asset class.
Currently, loans on purchase of jewellery is being treated as personal loans.
“EMI should be available for purchase of jewellery and restrictions must continue for bullion and coins,” Sen said.
GJC also recommended that NEFT/RTGS facility should be made available on holidays and Sundays when there is maximum buying by the customers.
Lastly, GJC has also sought for easier bank financing norms for small and medium scale jewellers.
GJC has requested the government to enable jewellers to sell Ashoka Chakra coins through retail stores, which will help increase the reach and generate more sales of the coins.