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Jewellery sector welcomes Budget; experts say cut in import duty will boost demand

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Gold and silver jewellery will become cheaper in the country ahead of the upcoming wedding season with finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman reducing import duty on gold and silver to 7.5% from 12.5% in the Union budget.

Besides bringing relief to the consumers, the move would make Indian jewellery more competitive in global markets.

“Import duty reduction on gold and silver from 12.5% to 7.5% is a step in the right direction and will boost the diamonds, gems and jewellery sector. As a result of this cut, prices of precious metals will fall, which in turn will spur demand and footfalls into the retail/online stores. As we did not see any drastic increase in taxes, the demand for precious diamonds, gems and jewellery will continue to be strong among consumers. Overall, the budget announcement for the sector has struck an optimistic chord in the new year,” said Sachin Jain, Managing Director, De Beers India.

“High duty on precious metal had made our exports uncompetitive, leading to large Indian diaspora/NRI moving to Dubai, Hong Kong or other centres to buy jewellery, which was largely impacting the employment as well as a business in India,” added Colin Shah, Chairman of Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council.

“The duty reduction is a good initiative and a support by the government to reduce unofficial smuggling. It will help the sector to become more organized. The responsibility of SEBI to manage bullion exchange implementation will help in making the gems and jewellery sector more organised. It is a good initiative by the government to take care of consumers, companies as well as the manufacturing sector and karigars,” said Suvankar Sen, CEO, Senco Gold and Diamonds.

India imports around 800 -850 tonnes of gold annually. It is estimated that another 100-120 tonnes of gold enter the country through the grey market route. The duty cut may also help jewellery exports.

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