Gem and jewellery sector disappointed with budget

February 29th, 2008 - 9:55 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of P. Chidambaram

Mumbai, Feb 29 (IANS) The gem and jewellery industry Friday was disappointed with the union budget, saying it would not bring relief to the industry which is saddled by rupee appreciation. Finance Minister P. Chidambaram’s decision to reduce duty on zircons and corals, and halve duty to five percent on polished cubic zirconia and rough coral would not provide the much-needed boost to the industry, industry representatives said.

“The industry wanted the duty removed on polished coloured gem stones and duty cut on plain gold jewellery below 18 carat. The duty reductions would benefit employment and trading,” said chairman Gitanjali Gems Ltd, Mehul Choksi.

“We also expected reduction in excise duties on branded jewellery. This industry is still in its development stage and merchants at all levels need to be encouraged towards enhancing India’s image at a global level,” said Choksi, adding that the issue was not addressed.

“The budget is not going to give a boost to the industry. The industry had greater expectations,” Sanjay Kothari, chairman The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council, said.

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