The gem and jewellery industry hopes Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman heeds its demand to bring down the customs duty on gold, and provide incentives to boost exports.

The All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council Chairman, Saiyam Mehra, said with rising gold rates, the PAN card transaction limit should be raised to Rs 5 lakh, from the present Rs 2 lakh.

A majority of consumers in rural India buy gold as an investment, and sell it in case of a medical emergency, he said.

With the cash purchase limit at Rs 10,000 per day under the Income Tax Act, consumers cannot sell gold jewellery to meet their needs. Hence, the daily purchase limit should be increased to Rs 1 lakh per day.

The jewellery industry is projected to hit $21.54 billion, growing at 6 per cent annually between 2023-27.

Yogesh Mudras, Managing Director, Informa Markets(India), said the upcoming Budget has a crucial role to play in shaping the trajectory of the gems and jewellery industry.

The government should reduce import duties on key raw materials such as gold and diamonds to 4 per cent from 15 per cent to help the industry, especially for the growth of MSMEs, he said.

Additionally, R&D funding would help establish domestic manufacturing capacities, to reduce the reliance on import of machinery in the coming years.

These measures would not only foster innovation and sustainable growth, but also contribute to a vibrant gems and jewellery sector, he said.

Suvankar Sen, MD & CEO, Senco Gold and Diamonds, said competitively priced gold loans were the need of the hour, as this would allow gold companies to make their business more competitive.

The Budget should provide special finance to help Indian brands and manufacturers establish businesses outside the country, and take the ‘Made in India’ brand to the global stage, he said.