Commerce Ministry for slashing gold import duty in Budget
NEW DELHI: The commerce ministry has pitched for reduction in import duty on gold in the forthcoming Budget with an aim to promote gold jewellery exports, a senior government official said.
The Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) has demanded cut in import duty on gold to 4 per cent from the current 10 per cent.
The sector contributes significantly in the country's overall exports.
"We always propose cut in import duty on gold. We take it up everytime...We are really a big user of gold and we need to be a big exporter of the gold jewellery," the official said.
About 80 per cent of the imported gold is consumed by the jewellery industry and India has one of the best artisans working in the sector.
"Why not we actually, freely import more gold and export value added gold products. If it happens, then sudden surge of gold imports from FTA (free trade agreement) countries will also stop," the official added.
Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu recently stated that the ministry is working on a package in consultation with the gems and jewellery industry to boost export and create jobs in this labour-intensive sector.
PC Jewellers MD Balram Garg had said there has been a demand for a significant cut in the import duty as small exporters are facing huge problem in procuring gold.
India is the world's second biggest gold consumer after China. The import mainly takes care of the demand of the jewellery industry.