India Bullion Industry Demands PM Tax Cuts


"Gem and Jewelry Export Promotion Council calls for jewelry export tax exemptions."

India's gems and jewelry industry has called for tax cuts on precious metals products like polished diamonds, cut diamonds, gold and silver jewelry. The Gem and Jewelry Export Promotion Council of India has demanded tax exemptions for jewelry exported from the country. The Council wants the government to implement this when the Finance Ministry presents the annual budget on February 28.

Following is the text of the memorandum that the Council submitted to the Ministry:
The Council would like to forward its pre-budget proposals for the year 2011-12. The current issue on Presumptive Taxation benign assessment procedure for assesses engaged in diamonds manufacturing/or trading activities declaring net profit rate at 6%. The Council proposes introduction of Presumptive Taxation in Indian gem and jewelry sector instead of 'Benign Assessment Procedure' and reduction in net profit rate from 6% to 3%. The non-introduction of Presumptive Tax system for the gems and jewelry industry would further result in migration of business and capital to low-cost, labor intensive countries like China and Thailand, emerging trading hubs and loss of employment for uneducated semi-skilled artisans, forced to return to their agrarian roots.
India's competitive edge in the global export market for cut and polished diamonds is on account of its skilled and cost competitive labor. The margins available in the global market are extremely thin. Levy of Service tax may result in significant loss of employment. The livelihood of these workers (around 1.5 million workers) depends on the proper functioning of this industry.

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