GJF hopes budget would bring back sparkle to the industry

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Bangalore,Feb21 (PTI) India Gems and Jewellery TradeFederation today said the coming union budget had thepotential of restoring the sparkle to the industry if thegovernment sought to grant its various demands, includingintroducing presumptive tax on total turnover for smalljewellers of 2.5 per cent or 3 per cent.

GJF, the national body that represents more than 3,00,000jewellers, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, distributorsand allied services to the industry, also called forabolishing wealth tax on gems and jewellery.

The Federation also called for instructing banks to providegold and raw material on low cost loan basis to gems andjewellery trade at an interest rate of 2.5 per cent to 3.5 percent per annum to generate further employment.

The budget wish list also included reducing pure investorinvestment interest thereby reducing volatility in gold ratesby increasing cost of trading in electronic medium orbringing in restrictions on gold trading on bourses.

Allocating funds through the National Skill developmentCouncil for GJF to enhance skills in this sector was also oneof the demands of the Federation.

The other demands include conferring council status to theNational Gems and jewellery body so that the body can be apart of government discussions and make more proactivecontribution to legal mandates.

C Vinod Hayagriv, Chairman, All India Gems and JewelleryTrade Federation, said "India being the second highestconsumer of gold, it is very important we look at minimisingirregularities in this sector in order to maximize profit andstabilize this industry."

"This sector has also been under the scanner recently as�High Risk Sector� but the fact remains that money launderingand funding of terrorists has not happened in the normalcourse of business in the gem and jewellery sector," he said.

"This sector is highly consumer centric catering to theinterests of a large, growing and the central market place ofgems and jewellery in India. Hence the decision that theministry takes in the course of the next few days is verycrucial and will help us chalk a way forward for the gems andjewellery industry," he said.

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