Gem and jewellery sector urges Centre to revamp gold monetisation scheme, cut duty on yellow metal

Our Bureau Kolkata | Updated on June 24, 2019 Published on June 24, 2019

Shankar Sen, Vice-Chairman of All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council Debasish Bhaduri   -  Debasish Bhaduri

The All-India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council (GJC), an apex body of the domestic gems and jewellery industry, has urged the Centre to revamp the Gold Monetisation Scheme (GMS).

The government in 2015 had launched GMS to mobilise the gold held by households and institutions. The scheme allows bank customers to deposit their idle gold holdings for a fixed period in return for an interest in the range of 2.25-2.5 per cent.

According to Shankar Sen, Vice-Chairman, GJC, under the revamped scheme, jewellers across the country should be allowed to operate as “bank agents” and collect gold from customers. The jeweller, post due assaying, can then issue a certificate on behalf of the bank.

As the scheme stands now, a customer has to give gold to a hallmarking centre, which works as a collection and assaying centre. The gold is then forwarded to a refinery, which then sends them to banks in the form of bars. Based on the hallmarking centre’s receipts, the bank opens the customer’s gold deposit account.

It is to be noted that since the launch of the scheme only around 15 tonnes of gold have been mobilised.

“There are five lakh jewellers across the country. If we can engage these jewellers and make them work as collection agents for banks, then we can mobilise more gold from customers,” Sen said on Monday.

GJC recently met key offcials in the Union Finance Ministry and submitted a detailed road map for a revamped GMS.

Sen was talking to newspersons on the sidelines of a function to announce GJC’s flagship event ‘Manthan 2019’ which is to be held on July 2-3 in Mumbai.

The revamped scheme would aim to reduce dependence on imports and harness a part of the 25,000 tonnes of gold held by residents, he said .

Reduce import duty

GJC also proposed bringing down import duty on gold to 4 per cent from the present 10 per cent in order curb smuggling of the yellow metal.

“Lowering the duty structure will not only boost customer demand and uplift business sentiments for the trade, but also help industry become more organised and compliant,” he said.

Published on June 24, 2019

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