Gems and jewellery industry top priority of GST council
The GST council will pay special attention to job generating industries like coloured stones, gems and jewellery while deciding the rate, said Arjun Ram Meghwal, Union minister of state for finance while speaking at the gems and jewellery exhibition JAS-16.
The minister said the GST council will debate whether there should be area-based GST or not. Likewise, the council will also deliberate on if there should be a product-based GST or not.
"The Modi-government needs to be commended for passing the GST bill. While fixing GST rates, the council will give a special focus to labour intensive sectors like coloured stones, gems and jewellery, and the bhujia industries," said Meghwal.
While inaugurating the 4-day show, chief minister Vasundhara Raje laid thrust on the sector's contribution to exports. "Gems and jewellery industry contributes 15 per cent to the country's exports and engages a large number of people," said Raje urging the minister to keep the interests of the sector while deciding on the rate.
The jewellery industry wants the Centre to keep the sector out of the GST ambit. Jewellers today 2 per cent tax including VAT and excise duty. "Since the sector is labour-intensive and does value addition, gems and jewellery should be kept out of GST," said Nirmal Bardiya, president of JAS-16.
Any rate more than 2 per cent is likely to have an adverse impact on the sector which is majorly concentrated in a few states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and West Bengal.Praveenshankar Pandya, chairman of Gold and Jewellery Export Council, said the GST rates should should not be more than the present structure of VAT and excise.