All Kerala Gold and Silver Merchants Association has strongly opposed the move to implement e-way bill in the gold trade sector, saying that it would impact several small scale ornament manufacturing units.
It is feared that the setting up of a limit of ₹ two lakh would wipe out small traders from the gold trading sector and making the life miserable for the workers in the small scale gold jewellery manufacturing sector, said Abdul Nazar, state treasurer of the association.
Gold ornaments manufacturing has been carried out at different places of various production units. A finished gold ornament is passing through different units before the final product is made. Hence the introduction of e-way bill is not practical as far as gold ornament manufacturing units are concerned. The e-way bill would affect the movement of gold ornaments from one production unit to another, leading to unnecessary litigations, he said.
In Kerala, gold ornaments manufacturing are mainly confined to rural areas and offering a social and financial security to thousands of workers who are directly depending on the sector. For instance, he said a goldsmith in the small scale sector who converts a minimum 36 gms of gold into ornaments has to carry the product to various units as part of applying dye, cutting, polishing etc. The introduction of e-way bill will hit their business, he said.
Gold traders with an annual turnover of up to ₹40 lakh have been exempted from the ambit of GST. Thus, if an exempted trader goes with 36 gms of gold worth more than ₹ two lakh and is caught, how can he get the benefit of ₹40 lakh, he said.
He alleged that the government is in the process of inviting big and corporate sector in the gold business that would impact many small traders in a big way.
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Considering the far reaching consequences in the small scale gold manufacturing units, he said Kerala and several other states had earlier opposed the implementation of e-way bills, highlighting various practical difficulties in this regard.