Gems & jewellery exporters’ concerns related to duties, logistics, finance being examined: Goyal

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 26, 2020 Published on November 26, 2020

Piyush Goyal, Union Minister for Commerce and Industry

Commerce & Industry Minister Piyush Goyal assured gems and jewellery exporters that their suggestions related to refund of duties, Special Economic Zones’ rules, logistics and financing were being examined. He also sought their support to ensure orderly behaviour of the sector and check leakages.

Issues raised from time to time by the gems & jewellery sector such as refund of taxes at custom station when goods are being exported, allowing small packets to be exported through e-commerce and courier, and various SEZ-related proposals were being considered, the Minister said speaking at CII’s Digital Gems & Jewellery conference on Thursday.

Focussing on the responsibilities of industry players, the Minister said that on many occasions he had urged them to assess what are the weaknesses in the system, so that the leakages can be plugged and it would not disrupt the liberalisation that could be ushered in . “It will be very useful if you can also look at what kind of self-regulation or what kind of policy and procedures that can be put in place to ensure orderly behaviour of the industry,” he said.

The alleged irregularities of bank dealings carried out by noted jewellers Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi has recently brought bad name to the industry and has also affected money being lent to the sector by banks.

Pandemic pain

Goyal said that the Covid-19 pandemic tested the country’s resolve and the gems and jewellery sector had taken a big hit. However, the recent exports and domestic figures of the sector show that the industry had used innovation, ingenuity and its agility in adapting to the new normal, to make a comeback.

The gems and jewellery sector, through its consciousness about quality and price competitiveness, has been able to penetrate markets of the US, UAE, Russia, the EU, the UK, Singapore and Hong Kong, the Minister pointed out.

“If we built upon our integrity, I have no doubt that we'll be able to expand our markets and meet the world's needs from India. This will involve adopting technology, innovation and skill development,” Goyal added.

He pointed out that the sector contributes about 7.5 per cent of the country’s GDP, 14 per cent to the nation’s exports and provides employment to over 5 million people.

Support to MSMEs

The Minister said the government will be happy to deliberate with the industry to see how MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) can be supported in the sector. “Majority of players in the gems and jewellery sector are MSMEs. We need to come forward to augment their efforts in marketing, packaging logistics and access to low-cost finance. This can be done with joint participation and active involvement of associations from gems and jewellery industry,” he said.

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Published on November 26, 2020
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