New Delhi: Gold and Silver will be among several items that will become costlier after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday hiked customs duties on them in Union Budget 2018-19.
The gems and jewellery industry were disappointed that there was no announcement in reduction of import duty on bullion. However, they were positive about proposed comprehensive Gold Policy, Gold Spot Exchange and Gold Deposit Account will also be very beneficial for the industry.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley also announced that the government will revamp the 'Gold Monetisation Scheme' and come out with a comprehensive policy on the precious metal. The revamping of the scheme is aimed at enabling people to open a hassle-free gold deposit account, Jaitley added.
Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) Chairman Pramod Agarwal said theproposal to cut corporate tax of companies with annual revenues of up to Rs 250 crore to 25 per cent will benefit the sector but this measure should be also made applicable to all gems and jewellery exporters.
However, he said, the increase in customs duty of cut and polished coloured gemstones (including diamonds) from 2.5 percent to 5 percent will hamper India's chances of becoming an international diamond trading hub.
Kalyan Jewellers chairman and managing director TS Kalyanaraman while applauding the rural focus, said the issue of import duty on gold has not been addressed, which we hope will give a fillip to the domestic industry ".