Speaking at a felicitation programme organized by GJEPC, GJF and AIJAC, PM assured the sector an unstinted support towards all strategic initiatives leading towards Make in India and country’s economic development. Modi called for innovation and skill development to achieve this objective and work on increasing the global demand for handmade jewellery.
In his address to the PM, Chairman, GJEPC, Praveen Shankar Pandya said, “Due to the excellent rule of the then Gujarat Chief Minister, the city of Surat was transformed from an old city with barely any infrastructure to one of the most modern city with wide roads, hospitals, convention halls, schools and cleanliness drives due to which this industry occupies an elevated position in the world jewellery market.”
PM Narendra Modi addressing the gem and jewellery traders said, “Surat diamond industry has transformed itself from 1972 from small sweat shops with factories possessing primitive machinery not always conducive for working to most modern highly ventilated factories. CSR programs initiated by diamond factories have led to the elevation of working conditions and the standard of living of working class of diamond industry.”
He advised the jewellery industry which is still working with outdated equipment with ‘Guru-Shishya’ parampara to modernize and upgrade themselves by embracing latest technology. This will not only help domestic business to grow but unleash them in jewellery world market too.
Praveen Shankar Pandya stressed upon the requirement of G&J university which could produce world class artisans, managers and executives something which PM had envisaged. Modi readily pointed out that it is available at the Baroda University and G&J could take guidance for training and skill upgradation for the G&J sector.
In response to the past ad hoc policy for gold taxation, for the first time the PMO has addressed the gold monetization scheme which is likely to be a game changer in the coming years. However, GJEPC Chairman felt the need of separate ministry to constantly provide policy support and structural pace. PM in his address responding to the request willingly offered the support of the Prime Minister himself to the sector, which received a thunderous applause.
Chairman pointed out that any duty above 6 per cent – 7 per cent duty on gold becomes counter productive. Country such as Dubai has started manufacturing gold jewellery with the aid of workers from India. This has given impetus to the development of parallel industry. In order to give support to the modern and transparent businesses, duty should be brought down.
Chairman appealed to the fellow members to come clean and take advantage of the voluntary disclosure scheme and declare assets by September 30. This will not only help become transparent but also aid in ease of doing business and drive industry growth in the long run.
Chairman GJEPC speaking on the excise said, “The way the problem of excise was addressed at the behest of PM, Amit Shah and Piyush Goyal was commendable. The Ministry dealt this matter with meticulous detail and redrafted the law which has never happened in the history of Indian Gem and Jewellery Industry. This would go a long way in building more confidence between industry and Government.”
GJEPC believed that Government would announce measures to facilitate the export-oriented industries and create an environment of ease of doing business. GJEPC will continue to engage with the government on key issues and challenges faced by the industry.