JAIPUR: According to an old saying - "all that glitters is not gold" and after the first budget of the Modi 2.0, it is being much talked about in the jewellery industry of Jaipur, on of the prominent centres of jewellery industry in the world.
In a major jolt to the Jaipur jewelers, Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman has increased the import duty on silver and gold from 10 to 12.5 %. The jewellers say that now their products will become expensive in international market, which will threatened their export possibilities. This is the second biggest setback to the jewellery industry in the Modi regime as they had suffered huge losses during demonetization.
Experts say that with the import duty being raised, jewelry exports will decline and employment opportunities in the industry will shrink rapidly. Over 5 lakh traders are involved in the jewellery industry in Jaipur which is also considered World's biggest centre for semi precious stones.
Kushal Dhadda, who deals in high end diamond jewellery and has a jewelry manufacturing unit in Jaipur says, " this move was not required. 10 grams of gold costs 30, 600 Rupees in the international market. the earlier duty was 3060 but by raising the import duties now, it will be 3900 .
In addition , GST is also imposed on our products , as a result the total tax on gold and silver will now rise from 13 to 15.5 %.We fear that these raised taxes will result in decline in demand from customers and our sales will be affected."
According to the president of the Sarafa traders committee, the increased import duty will imply 25 % decline in the industry. " Ever since demonetization, the industry is facing a recession. As such we were hoping that the Government will give us some relief in the budget. Instead they have further intensified our problems by increasing the duty.
Meanwhile, Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council's former Chairman Rajiv Jain, says , " to make our ornaments we have to import gold and silver from the international market but as we have to import on higher duties now, Jewellery export units will have to lay off many employees. As a result ,instead of generating jobs ,the industry will face job cuts."