Kolkata: All India Gems and Jewellery Federation has urged the government to reduce import duty on gold and silver to help the industry and put an end to smuggling of the precious metals.
It has apprealed for reduction of import duty on gold from four percent to two percent and that in silver from six percent to three percent.
"Steep increase in the import duty in the last budget has resulted in the increase in smuggling activities in the country. If this is allowed to continue, the trade will go into wrong hands and there is a fear of disbalance in the overall economy," Federation chairman Bachhraj Bamalwa told reporters here.
Urging the government to 'change' its alleged 'negative approach' towards the gem and jewellery industry, Bamalwa, who was here in conection with the world class Gem and Jewellery Leadership Summit, 2012, earlier this week said the industry generates employment and artisans involved in the industry are self-employed.
"We are ready to work with the government by taking the responsibility of improving the overall image of the industry," he said and urged the centre to take the industry into confidence.
The most important problem faced by the industry is the negative approach of the Centre towards it. "The government has many biased assumptions about the industry. The growing trade balance gap of the country seems to be the most important worry of the government and it thinks that the high import bill of gold is responsible for it."
Stating that gems and jewellery (G&J) industry in the country consist mainly of retail and manufacturers, Bamalwa said in the recent past the consumption of gold in G&J sector has reduced by 30 to 40 percent mainly due to high prices of gold and depreciation of the rupee.
Stating that the current status of the industry in the country is not very good, he said "It is carrying on somehow. The global recession is having its effect on the G&J sector."
First Published: Wednesday, December 19, 2012, 22:21