Nirmala Sitharaman Holds Talks With Industry Members
irmala Sitharaman, the union minister of state (independent charge) for commerce & industries and the union minister of state for finance & corporate affairs, visited the Mumbai Diamond Merchants Association (MDMA) Hall at the Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB) on October 6 for a discussion on issues relevant to the gem and jewellery industry.
Members of the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), BDB and MDMA took part in the interactive session and gave a presentation on the Indian gem and jewellery industry’s accomplishments and road map for the coming years. The industry representatives also notified the minister of matters of immediate concern to the trade, and requested her to take these up with the policy decision makers. Among these was the industry’s long-standing demand for the introduction of a presumptive/turnover tax regime that could bring India at par with global manufacturing centres like Belgium, Israel, Thailand and China. Members explained that this could lead to increased government revenues and would simplify the procedure and litigation involved in collection of income tax.
Another proposal centred on the establishment of Special Notified Zones (SNZ) for import and trading of rough diamonds, where net income is fixed and taxes are paid only on invoices raised to Indian companies. Trade representatives said this move would help international diamond mining companies bring their rough supplies directly to India for trading.
Trade members sought clarity on the application of service tax/customs duty on software used in the diamond manufacturing process, created by firms such as Israelbased Sarine Technologies. Members noted that service tax had already been paid on certain software and sought clarification on tax-exemption. Concerns were also raised over the availability of finance to the industry from banks and members called for a simplification of processes and a reduction in bureaucratic procedures with regard to export operations. Members of the GJEPC, BDB and MDMA gave a presentation on the Indian gem and jewellery industry’s accomplishments and road map for the coming years. They also notified the minister of matters of immediate concern to the trade.”