Indian jewellery and textile industries upset with General Budget

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Jaipur/Surat, Feb 27 (ANI): Finished jewellery makers of Jaipur and the workers working in the textile industries of Surat expressed their disappointment over the General Budget 2010-2011 presented by Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in Parliament on Friday.

Nawal Kumar, a jewellery exporter said, "This time the import duty has been increased to rupees 30 for one gram of gold and on silver it has been increased to rupees 1500. This will affect the jewellery trade for sure which was already passing through a difficult phase the prices of gold and silver were already high."

Nawal Kumar added that it is ultimately the consumer, who will bear the brunt and this may discourage a majority from going in for new jewellery items or investing in gold and precious stones.

The prices would further increase and consumers will have to bear the brunt, claimed Kumar.

The gems and jewellery industry appears to have survived the global slowdown, showing slow but steady signs of recovery as evident from the jewellery set-ups in Jaipur.

Textile traders who were worst hit by global recession, high bank interests and soaring cotton prices had hoped for some relief in the annual budget, but they too appeared displeased with the fiscal proposals.

The textile industry of Surat had been feeling the heat of global financial crisis with export orders going down. Today around seven lakh people are directly or indirectly related to the garment industry in Surat.

Mukherjee has proposed to retain the tax on services at 10 percent and raise excise duty on petrol and diesel by 1 rupee per liter.

However, analysts claimed that rise in the oil prices would have a cascading effect on the prices of other commodities.

Atish, an exporter of textiles in Surat said, "We in the textile trade do not see much of a change because excise duty has been increased. The duty on crude oil has been increased by five percent and crude oil and this is a basic material to make the yarn."

"This will lead to increase in the overall prices of finished cost, all due to hike in the diesel and petrol prices. So in my opinion textile industry won't gain much," added Atish.

The Indian textile industry is one of the largest employment generators in the world, second only to China.

Mukherjee in his annual budget for the fiscal year beginning from April 1 rolled back some tax incentives implemented to help tide the economy through the worst of the global downturn, and outlined plans to bolster agricultural output. (ANI)

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