Diamond processing industry gets relief with IGST exemption on imports

Surabhi New Delhi | Updated on January 12, 2018


Council exempts individual advocates, individual sponsors, including sportspersons, from registration for central GST

In a relief to the diamond processing industry, the Goods and Services Tax Council has exempted import of cut and polished diamonds after testing from payment of Integrated GST (IGST).

“An exporter with an annual turnover of ₹5 crore for each of the last three years may export cut and polished diamonds (each of 0.25 carat or more)…for testing,” said a fresh exemption list, adding that on their re-import within three months of export, these cut and polished diamonds will be exempt from customs duty as well as IGST.

The decision was taken at the meeting of the GST Council on Sunday.

Similarly, the Council has also exempted from IGST import of diamonds for certification, grading and their subsequent re-export.

This was also one of the key demands of the diamond industry, which had also been seeking withdrawal of the proposed 0.25 per cent GST on rough diamonds.

“The exemption from IGST was a must as diamonds have to be exported for part of the certification. They are then re-imported. Paying IGST would have been a huge exercise and compliance burden,” said Praveen Shekhar Pandya, Chairman, Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), adding that they are also hoping that transactions through the Diamond Dollar Accounts will also be nil-rated.

About 65 per cent of the global diamond processing is done in India with gross exports of cut and polished diamonds estimated at close to $23 billion. In fact, nearly 95 per cent of the diamonds after being cut and polished are exported back.

The Council in its meeting also exempted passenger bus services, spares, fuels and consumables between India and Pakistan and Bangladesh from payment of IGST. At present, two passenger bus services between New Delhi and Lahore and Kolkata and Dhaka are run.

The Council also exempted inter-state movement of goods and passengers between the head office and branch office through trains, buses, trucks, tankers, trailers, vessels and containers from payment of IGST.

Meanwhile, in line with the service tax provisions, the GST Council has also exempted individual advocates and individual sponsorship service providers, including sportspersons, from registration for Central GST.

Final rules

The Central Board of Excise and Customs also released the final rules and formats for accounts and records on Monday. These were approved by the GST Council in its meeting on Sunday.

These require manufacturers, agents, work-contractors, transporters to maintain detailed accounts.

Published on June 12, 2017

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