Gems and Jewellery Industry observe bandh on March 10
President of IBJA, Mohit Kamboj and members of the association had announced Black Day on March 10 to protest against the unfair Government policies that have impacted the industry. The association was forced to call for bandh as Government failed to take any actions in favour of the industry.
Around 90 per cent of retail shops were shut on March 10 to protest against Government’s infavourable policy. The import duty hike up to 10% and the 20:80 scheme has already led to shortage in supply of gold as well as increased the cases of smuggling in India in last couple of months. Besides these, the unfair Export Credit Guarantee Cover (ECGC) policy, the Metal Gold Loan Scheme, the FCNR Deposit by bank v/s metal loan, bank policies on gold distribution, replenishment scheme, taxation concerns, refund of duty by DGFT, etc have impacted the industry by all means.
The members of IBJA and President Kamboj fears that if such situation persists for too long, the gems and jewellery industry will lose its sheen forever. He said, “The current state of the gems and jewellery industry is very bad. The Government had been assuring us that they will curb the import duty and bring some changes to stringent 20:80 scheme. We were waiting for the final Cabinet Meet on March 2 and expecting some kind of relief. But, Government completely ignored our demands.”
The bandh was to notify the Government about the continuous harassment faced by the manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and bullion traders due to stringent policies and unfair treatment of all Government agencies towards the highest paid tax industry – the gems and jewellery industry. All the associations across the nation participated in one-day bandh to make sure the ruling party in next elections take steps that will help the industry bring back to normal.
Kamboj said, “We have been negotiating with the Government since past 6 months, now as the elections are approaching and the last cabinet meet is done, we have to wait for another 5 months to bring back the trade to normal. We are now protesting to make the contesting party aware that we would favour the party 100% that can assure us to take effective measures as soon as possible after they come into power.” Last month, IBJA met Rajnath Singh, President of BJP and he has assured the association to solve the problem in 30-60 days if BJP wins the election. Kamboj also notified that the association would be meeting Narendra Modi soon.
In last few years, the growth of the gems and jewellery industry has been affected tremendously. The Government has left no stone unturned to affect the industry negatively. Kamboj and all the manufacturers, wholesalers, bullion traders, retailers came together on March 10 to raise their voice against the regressive policies that have affected the daily livelihood of lakhs of traders and craftsmen in the Bullion and Jewellery trade. A demand sheet had been prepared that highlights the core problems that need urgent attention of government policy makers. The 10 points in demand sheets are:
- Reduction of customs duty on gold
- Stop unfair seizure of gold and cash
- Restart imports of gold
- Strong action against gold smuggling
- 20:80 scheme to be revised
- Speedy clearance of gold imports
- Exemption of ECGC by banks for gold exports
- Increased opportunities for gold craftsman
- Cancellation of TCS on Gold
- Relaxation of KYC Norms
Lists of these demands are put forward to the various government departments for their serious reconsideration of these policies that are afflicting their livelihood.