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GJSCI flags-off Tihar Women Inmates Skilling Project; will train a batch of 30 women inmates in Hand-sketch designing

5th May 2017 | Source : GJSCI

GJSCI flagged off its Tihar Inmates Skilling Project today where the body will be training the pilot batch of 30 women inmates in hand-sketch designing. The occasion was inaugurated by Mr. Sudhir Yadav, Director General- Delhi Prison, in the esteemed presence of Mr. Ajay Verma, Chairman- IBJ India, Mr. Gaurav Kapoor, Head- Industry Partnership & CSR; SSC Engagement-NSDC, Dr. Rajendra Bhola Director-GJSCI and Mr. Binit Bhatt, CEO-GJSCI and other prominent personalities.

Majority of these women inmates commits socially unethical acts due to poverty and lack of skill. This initiative of GJSCI will enable them to become independent and eventually emerge as reformed citizen with a fresh perspective towards life.

The inauguration ceremony was done in the presence of esteemed dignitaries, which was followed by a demonstration by a partner agency which explained the training process conceptualized for the women inmates of Tihar Jail.

“The commencement of Tihar Women Skilling Project is one of the greatest achievements of GJSCI. The first batch consists of 30 women and will be trained in hand-sketch designing. GJSCI, as a body aims at adding fresh scope independence and empower the women inmates of Tihar Jail to reform as a responsible citizen. The interest displayed by these inmates has left us overwhelmed and indicates a promising success of this initiative”, said Mr. Binit Bhatt, CEO, GJSCI.

Parliamentary Standing Committee on labour visits training centers of GJSCI in Surat; appreciates the body to work

2nd May 2017

Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour visited Training Centres of GJSCI on Monday. The visit saw esteemed presence of 20 Member of Parliament led by chairperson Shri. Kirit Somya, MP & other prominent personalities like Mr. Rajesh Agarwal (Jt. Secy – MSDE), Jayant Krishna (COO – NSDC), Mr. Gaurav Kapoor (Head - Industry Partnership & CSR; SSC Engagement - NSDC), Mr. Rajesh Agarwal (NSDC) and Mr. Binit Bhatt, CEO, GJSCI. The visiting body appreciated GJSCI for its break through dedication towards reforming the gems & Jewellery Industry.

The committee visited the training centres of GJSCI and understood the process of training under PMKVY on course and curriculum established by GJSCI. They also interacted with the students and motivated them. This was followed by a discussion on how skill can help in uplifting the industry.

The centres visited were SRKID the knowledge & training division of Shree Ram Krishna Exports led by Shri. Govind Dholakia (Chairman - SRK Group) and Indian Diamond Institute (IDI) led by Shri. Samir Joshi (Head of Institute)

“We were delighted to have the esteemed Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour as our guests at training centers of GJSCI in Surat. The committee saw the process of our training and were impressed. It was a great honor to receive appreciation from such prominent personalities and motivated us to raise our bar of dedication towards our goal of revolutionizing the gems & jewellery from unorganized to organize”, said Mr. Binit Bhatt. CEO.

GJSCI signs a MOU with Delhi Prisons at GJSCI Skill Conclave; aims to train women inmates of Tihar into jewellery making

25 March, 2017 | Source : GJSCI

Gem & Jewellery Skill Council of India (GJSCI) signed a MOU with Delhi Prisons for the ‘Tihar Women Inmates Skilling’ Project that aims at teaching the skillset of jewellery making to the women inmates of Tihar Jail. The MOU was signed by Mr. Premkumar Kothari – Chairman, Gems & Jewellery Skill Council of India, Mr. SudhirYadav (I.P.S), Director General – Delhi Prisons & Mr. Ajay Verma- Director, IBJ India and during GJSCI`s Skill Conclave that took place in the esteemed presence of Mr. ManojDwivedi (Joint Secretary, Commerce), Mr. GauravKapoor (Head Industry partnerships & CSR-NSDC), Mr. D.D. Karel (Head of N.M. Karel & Sons), Dr.RajendraBhola (Head of BholasonsJewellers Gold Souk), Ms. Nirupa Bhatt (Managing Director- GIA, India & Middle East), Prof. V.K. Murti (Adjunct Professor- S.P. Jain Institute of Management & Research) who were the Panel membersand other eminent personalities from Gems & Jewellery Industry.

Majorly, these women end up committing a crime due to poverty and lack skills. A program like this would empower these women and make them more independent that will eventually rehabilitate them back into a normal life of a respectable citizen. This project is developed with an aim to train women inmates of Tihar Jail with Jewellery making skills, enabling them to have fresh perspective in life and be independent.

GJSCI`s Skill Conclave saw a number of presentations by experts on various topics related to Jewellery industry which was succeeded by a Panel Discussion. The aim of the conclave was to trigger a shift from an unorganized sector to an organized gems & jewellery industry.

GJF seeks GST of 1.25% for the gems & jewellery sector

27 Feb, 2017 | Source : Afternoon Dispatch & Courier

All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF), national nodal trade body for the promotion and growth of trade in gems and jewellery across India, has proposed GST rate of 1.25% for the gems & jewellery sector in their representation submitted to the Bihar Government.

GJF East Zonal Chairman Sankar Sen, Immediate Past Chairman G V Sreedhar, Director, Manoj Jha, Zonal Committee Member Srimal Dholakia and office bearers of Patliputra Sarafa Association Binod Kumar and Bharat Mehta met FM of Bihar Abdul Bari Siddiqui and Commercial Tax Minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav and submitted the representation on GST.

Sreedhar G. V. Immediate Past Chairman & Director, GJF, said, “While the G&J Industry is now gearing up for the forthcoming GST era, higher GST rate will hamper the growth of the industry. GJF has proposed that the GST rate for the gems & jewellery sector should be kept at 1.25% with single HSN code similar to Excise, if the Govt. expects the industry to be compliant and get organized.”

“The High Level Committee Report, which was unanimously accepted by the Government, was prepared after taking the suggestions and recommendations from more than 60 associations of India into consideration,” said Sankar Sen, Director – GJF.

GJF gets new Chairman

07 Jan, 2017 | Source : The Hindu Business Line

All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF) said it has appointed Nitin Khandelwal as Chairman and Pramod Agarwal as Vice- Chairman for two years. “I am committed to taking forward the growth of this organisation with the help of the newly elected zonal heads and Committee of Administration of GJF,” Khandelwal said in a release. GJF represents over 3,00,000 players comprising retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, laboratories, gemmologists, designers and allied services to the domestic gems and jewellery industry.

Jewellers hail decision to demonetise 1K and 500 notes

10 Nov, 2016 | Source : The Political & Business Daily

THE jewellery industry welcomed government's decision to scrap the 500 and 1,000 notes citing it as a bold move to curb tax evasion and improve compliance. "It is a welcome step to curb tax evasion even as people will be inconvenienced for a short period. It is a very bold step for the long run and will benefit people," All IndiaGems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF) Director Ashok Minawala told PTI here. He said after the announcement made by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi last night, people thronged to jewellery shops, which remained open till midnight. "According to reports from across the country, the business were substantially high, went up around 200 per cent last night. On an average day, the industry does a business of around 2 tonne," he added. Last night, the Prime Minister announced that high denomination notes of 500 and 1,000 will no longer be legal tender from midnight as a "decisive" war against black money and corruption, while disclosing a raft of steps to assure commoners that their money is safe. Mumbai Jewellers Association Vice- President Kumar Jain said the prices are soaring in the domestic market and due to demand supply gap gold is being sold at a higher premium. "Gold price is ruling at 31,900 level per 10 grams, however, in the market gold is sold at a premium of 10,000 per 10 grams taking the total price to over 40,000 per 10 grams," Jain said.

"The act of demonetising high value currency notes by the government is a decisive and welcome step to curb tax evasion and improve compliance and an important milestone in the journey towards the vision of becoming a cashless economy," World Gold Council Managing Director, India, Somasundaram PR said. "This will be transformative for gold as this has the potential to squeeze out the unofficial trade, and drive greater transparency across," Somasundaram said. "It is a wonderful move and long overdue. We were seeing a lot of counterfeit currency, which made it difficult for common individuals. (This is) a bold decision, which might cause short term difficulty but is good for long run and will help strengthen our currency," Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) Praveenshankar Pandya said. The government's decision to demonetise 500 and 1,000 notes is a bold and welcome step and good move in the long run, GJF Chairman Sreedhar G V said. "We were getting reports of shops being open till mid-night till currencies were accepted. Customers buying increased and people did good business," he added. India Bullion and Jewellers Association Director Saurabh Gadgil said its a welcome move and will make the market clean. He said in the short term it may be a pain, but will help the organised sector and provide a level playing field. "There was a lot of panic among people last night, who were holding a lot of cash, especially farmers and those who were preparing for weddings etc, and people flocked to convert the notes in gold. However, most of these purchases were compliance driven," he said.

All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation launches mobile app

14 Sep, 2016 | Source : The Economic Times

All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF) has gone live with its Mobile App on Android and IOS Platforms for benefits of its members and trade at large.

With its members directory integrated in the app, wherein members can access the entire database of GJF members that would enable them to connect, network and grow their business. The app also features information about the organization, various activities undertaken by the federation such as PMI, NJA, Labham, Abhushanam and GJF Fashion Nite.

The future updates of the app will contain more benefits such as Industry news & updates, GJF's Jeweller Identification Card (JID), videos of various seminars, which will help the industry stay connected and conversant.

Mr. G V Sreedhar, GJF Chairman said, "It is a proud moment for GJF to launch its first ever Mobile App for the Gems & Jewellery industry, which is a step to align ourselves with PM Shri Narendra Modi's dream of digitalization. The App would be very useful to our members to connect to various activities undertaken by GJF over these years and also hook up to large data base of GJF member database. The app will basically synergize with our philosophy to protect, promote and progress the trade."

Mr. Mukul Kulkarni, GJF CEO said, "The principle of the app is to keep it simple and user friendly. We are confident that the industry will benefit a lot from this app. GJF is already working on the second phase of the app, which will have more enhanced user experience that will help the industry get organized and compliant".

Gold glitters again

14 Jun, 2016 | Source : The Hindu

Consumers and manufacturers of gold jewellery and ornaments have been ‘cautious’ about doing business in the last six months. The reasons: the government’s decision to make a PAN card mandatory for transactions over Rs 2 lakh and uncertainty of excise duty on the yellow metal. “Though business is picking up, everyone is still in a cautious mode,” said Mukul Kulkarni, Chief Executive Officer, All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation at the sidelines of the Preferred Manufacturer of India (PMI) networking meet in Chennai. “Six months down the lane businesses will pick up.

We have held several meetings with the Centre to help the industry. We are expecting some announcements soon,” he added. The All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF) opened its doors to its third edition of Preferred Manufacturer of India (PMI) networking meet. Around 42 manufacturers and more than 300 retailers from across the country are participating. This is the first event for jewellers post imposition of excise duty in jewellery sector. “The event will be a platform for manufacturers to display their work. The retailers are being called by invite so there would be actual business happening here,” Mr. Kulkarni said.

GJF hosts preferred manufacturers networking meet

14 Jun, 2016 | Source : Trinity Mirror

All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF) organizes the third edition of the Preferred Manufacturers of India (PMI) 2015 - 17, Grand Networking Meet at a glittering ceremony at Hotel Leela Palace, Chennai from June 13 to 15. Prominent & leading jeWellers are participating in this business & leisure networking meet. This is the first major event for jewellers post imposition of excise duty in jewellery sector by the Government.

G V Sreedhar, GJF Chairman, said, “The PMI programme is the most dynamic and effective business networking platform, offering the best jewellery designs across India at one location. GJF has always explored new possibilities and ideas that provide structured and efficient platforms for all its stakeholders. In a fast paced business environment today, the need for speed, accuracy, delivery, service in addition to exclusivity and innovation has taken greater importance”.

Nitin Khandelwal, PMI Convener & GJF Director said, “Networking for business is the new-age mantra for successful enterprises and PMI offers manufacturers a dedicated platform that facilitates better relationship building with the country’s most prominent jewellery retailers. The PMI was co-convened by Sumeet Anand & Ashok Bardia, with committee members comprising Ashok Minawala, Bachhraj Bamalwa, Vinod Hayagriv, Haresh Soni & Nitin Kadam.

Govt Steps in to Push Gold Jewellery Demand

31 May, 2016 | Source : The Economic Times

In a move that may boost demand for gold jewellery, the government has rolled back its budget decision to apply 1% tax collection at source (TCS) on cash purchase of gold jewellery of Rs 2 lakh and above, and raised the threshold to the earlier Rs 5 lakh with effect from June 1. The decision comes at a time when jewellers are finding it difficult to offload their inventory that piled up following a 42-day strike — in protest against imposition of 1% excise duty on gold and diamond jewellery — that ended unsuccessfully in mid-April.

Bachhraj Bamalwa, director at All India Gem & Jewellery Trade Federation, said the increase in TCS threshold limit is “a major relief to those who would purchase wedding jewellery Rs 2 lakh was a very small sum for wedding jewellery,” he told ET. Gold demand in the country hit a seven-year low in the first quarter of 2016 when sales declined 41% year on year at 88.4 tonnes. This is 44% below the five-year quarterly average of 156.7 tonnes. India’s annual consumption of gold is 850-900 tonnes.

Yet, gold prices have gone up since this year. Saurabh Gadgil, MD at PNG Jewellers, said prices have increased almost 20% since January and is currently ranging between Rs 29,500 and Rs 30,000 per 10 gm. “There is very little demand in the market. However, the Rs 5 lakh relief is expected to create some movement as there are wedding dates in June as well,” Gadgil said. TCS — introduced as a measure to curb tax evasion and check black money transactions — is collected by the seller from the buyer at the time of sale and is deposited with the government.

The person from whom the TCS is collected gets credit for the same amount in his income tax return. TCS of 1% was imposed on cash purchase of jewellery worth Rs 5 lakh or more and of bullion worth Rs 2 lakh or more in 2012. The government in this year’s budget had reduced the TCS threshold on jewellery to Rs 2 lakh. Gold jewellery demand was already tepid in February down due to a sharp rise in the local gold price and anticipation of a correction in prices and a reduction in customs duty. The widespread strikes across the jewellery industry against 1% excise duty — which the government refused to roll back despite the six weeks-long protests — further impacted the demand.

All Gold Jewellery to Have Compulsory Purity Hallmark from September

16 May, 2016 | Source : The Economic Times

The days when you bought jewellery convinced of its purity only to learn later of its being below par on this front may come to an end after September. Leading officials of the trade believe that the government will issue a notification during or before September spelling out details of mandatory hallmarking of gold and silver items as envisaged by the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 2016.

This could largely put paid to the malpractice of jewellers passing of ornaments of inferior purity as 22 carat. “It (the notification) is expected to be out in September,“ said Rajesh Khosla, MD, MMTCPamp. “Once made mandatory, unscrupulous elements will find it inexpedient to palm off low purity ornaments as 22 carat gold jewellery. There are challenges but over time the customer will be more protected.“ Aside from the expectation of hallmarking being made compulsory from September, the trade expects it would be introduced in stages. “Hallmarking will first be mandated in met ros and in tier-one cities, before spreading to tier-2 and tier-3 cities,“ said Balram Garg, MD, PC Jeweller. That's because the extant hallmarking centres - 317 of them - predominate in major cities.

Even if a jewellery manufacturer in a tier 2 or tier 3 centre wants to get the ornaments hallmarked how can it be done in an expedient way, ask jewellers, justifying their claim of the practice being set in stages. The new act essentially mandates that jewellers spell out purity of jewellery they sell through a certification process. A BIS-certified jeweller (retailer manufacturer) has the right to register himself with any of the BIS recognised Assaying and Hallmarking Centres to get his jewellery hallmarked. BIS maintains surveillance on the certified jewellers, at a defined periodicity.Market surveillance involves collection of hallmarked gold jewellery from licensee's retail outletmanufacturing premises and having it tested for conformity in BIS recognised Hallmarking Centre.

Deviations in degree of purity of fine metal and observance of operations not in conformance to the system may result in cancellation of BIS licence, and invoke legal proceedings for penalties under the BIS Act, Rules and Regulations. Jewellery demand in India was 88.4 tonnes during the March quarter, according to World Gold Council. Against this demand for bars and coins was 28 tonnes.

E-Tailers See Gold, Diamonds Boosting Sales On Akshaya Tritiya

09 May, 2016 | Source : Afternoon Dispatch & Courier

Online retailers including Amazon and Bluestone are betting big on gold and diamond sales and expect a big boost to their business on 'Akshaya Tritiya', considered as auspicious day for buying precious metals. "Compared to last year, we see over six times growth in sales in our Akshaya Tritiya offerings. In terms of traffic, we have grown over 100 per cent compared to last year," Amazon Fashion Category Leader Mayank Shivam told PTI here.

The demand is likely to be more for 22 carat jewellery -- especially plain gold chains and necklaces, he said. "This is apart from the gold bullion sale, which is obviously top selling at this time," he added. Echoing similar view, online jeweller Bluestone.Com COO Arvind Singhai said that business is growing since last two years, and the company expects the sales to jump by six times during Akshaya Tritiya this year as compared to last year.

This year during the festival we are expecting the demand for gold coins, diamond pendants and earrings," he added. He also said that he sees no slowdown in demand despite volatility in gold price as the festival of Akshaya Tritiya is considered auspicious for buying precious metals. However, he said high prices may affect the volumes but the value will grow.

Caratlane.Com Vice President Vipin Nair said, "We are expecting a really good turnout this year. Besides gold, we see a lot of movement in diamond jewellery as well." Akshaya Tritiya is falling today.

GJF Expects 10-15% Growth In Jewellery Sales

The All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF) expects good growth in sales on Akshaya Tritiya (May 9) across India. Consumer demand is expected to be strong due to the ongoing wedding season.

G V Sreedhar, Chairman, GJF, said, “Traditionally, Indians buy jewellery on Akshaya Tritiya and have great faith on this auspicious day. We expect a growth of 10-15% over last year due to pent up demand that was unfulfilled due to non-availability of products in previous months. Gold rates are expected to be much stronger in future days considering the present situation and scenarios, which may be the main factor for business growth. Many jewellers have undertaken aggressive promotional campaigns and lucrative offers to stimulate demand and customer queries/ walk-ins have increased. Overall, we are quite positive about increased demand culminating in higher sales, due to the ongoing wedding season as well. Akshaya Tritiya 2016 will herald a boom for the jewellery sector.

Gold sales set to increase this Akshaya Tritiya

07 May, 2016 | Source : Hindustan Times

Gold sales are likely to go up on Akshaya Tritiya this year, despite the rise in prices of the precious metal, as there is a lot of pent up demand in the market following the recent 45-day strike, according to jewellers and market analysts. Akshaya Tritiya is considered an auspicious day for purchasing gold, and falls on Monday this year. Sales pick up 10-20% every year on Akshaya Tritiya. This year, it is even more important for the industry, which is recovering from losses due to the countrywide strike by jewellers in protest against the 1% excise duty announced in Budget 2016.

The industry is estimated to have incurred losses of over Rs 50,000 crore during the period. Gold is considered a safe asset and has long been the favoured investment destination for Indian households. This year though, Gudi Padwa, celebrated mostly in Maharashtra, saw lacklustre activity as stores remained closed. With jewellers back in business again, consumers are seen returning to shops for gold coins and jewellery. “Since jewellery shops were shut, consumers couldn’t purchase gold. The mood is positive now and we expect sales to rise 10% this year,” said Sreedhar GV, chairman, India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation. “The entire retail jewellery industry looks forward to this day every year, but this year it’s extra special due to the strike,” said Saurabh Gadgil, CMD, PNG Jewellers.

Gold prices rallied in the last few months and hit Rs 31,000 per 10 gram earlier this week, tracking a rally in the global market, where prices crossed $1,300 an ounce to hit a 15-month high. Prices have risen amid continued global growth worries, which prompted the US Federal Reserve to leave interest rates unchanged last month, and a weak US dollar. According to analysts, there could be some correction in gold prices in the near-term due to the recent rally, but it could hit fresh highs by December, given the weakness in other asset classes, including real estate and stocks, and global economic uncertainties. “Globally interest rates are close to zero. Japan and Europe are infusing liquidity, and the fear of US Fed raising rates quickly, too, have receded. This is a perfect recipe for gold to rally,” said Kishore Narne, commodities head at brokerage Motilal Oswal.

Jewellers call off strike, govt to ease laws

13 Apr, 2016 | Source : Financial Chronicle

JEWELLERS across the country have called off their 43-day-old strike after the government assured them that it would implement the simplification of excise laws they had asked for. However, the government made it clear that it would not roll back the excise duty. The jewellers’ delegation, which met BJP chief Amit Shah and union minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday, said that most of the state-level and regional jeweller associations have agreed to resume business from Wednesday.

“There has been consensus among the different association on calling off the strike,” said G V Sreedhar, chairman, All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation. Till Monday, half the jewellers had been on strike, while those in West Bengal and south Indian states, apart from some in Mumbai and Delhi had resumed business.

The government has accepted to simplify some of the excise law provisions as per the demand of the jewellers. The excise department will not seize any substance from the jewellers during raids and will allow voluntary registration of jewellers and artisans,” he said. The committee under former chief economic advisor Ashok Lahiri will be formed soon and will come out with the notification on the simplified excise laws, he added. There would also be a consensus on the members of the industry to be included in the committee, said Sreedhar.

Jewellery' strike crosses 30 days, no solution seen

01 Apr, 2016 | Source : Deccan Chronicle

Mumbai’s usually bustling jewellery hub — Jhaveri Bazar — wears a deserted look as the indefinite all-India strike by the jewellery industry protesting against the one per cent excise imposed on gold and silver studded jewellery by finance minister Arun Jaitely in the budget, completes 30 days on Thursday.

Mr Ashok Minawala, director, Gem and Jewellery Trade Federation said, “The industry is averse to the excise and is as adamant as the government is in not withdrawing the duty.”

A circular was issued on March 21 saying that the excise should be applied to sales and not manufacturing. But the industry has no confidence in the minister as this circular has not been converted into a notification. “It is not even made a part of the Excise Act,” he said, adding that experts consulted by the industry are against the one per cent excise. And nearly a crore of workers are affected by the strike.”

Mr Bachhraj Bamalwa, another director, said the industry has suffered a loss of Rs 30,000 crore and government has lost Rs 3,000 crore. He said their “experience with the excise department during the Gold Control days from 1962-92 was terrible. Due to the immense powers of officials, the trade never grew during these years, whilst the industry in the neighbouring countries which flourished.”

Jewellers End Strike

20 Mar, 2016 | Source : The Free Press Journal

Jewellers called off their 18-day-old strike on Saturday demanding rollback of proposed excise duty on non-silver jewellery after government assured them that there will be no harassment by excise officials. Major jewellery associations, including All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF), India Bullion and Jewellers Association (IBBJ) and Gems Jewellery Export Promotion Council decided to call off the strike after meeting Finance Minister Arun Jaitley regarding the 1 per cent excise duty proposed on jewellery in the budget.

Jewellers end 18-day stir after assurance from FM

20 Mar, 2016 | Source : The Times Of India

Jewellers on Saturday called off their 18-day old strike demanding a rollback of the proposed excise duty on non-silver jewellery after the government assured them that there would be no harassment by excise officials.

Major jewellery associations, including All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF), India Bullion and Jewellers Association and Gems Jewellery Export Promotion Council decided to call off the strike after meeting finance minister Arun Jaitley over the proposed 1% excise duty on jewellery in the Budget. “It (excise duty) has not been rolled back, but our grievances have been taken care of.

The finance minister has assured us that there will be no ‘inspector raj’ and we are hopeful of a notification in this regard. After long deliberations, all associations agreed to call off the stir,” said GJF chairman Sreedhar G V. The jewellery industry is estimated to have incurred a loss of over Rs 25,000 crore in the last 18 days.

Over 3 lakh jewellers kept their establishments closed since March 2 after the finance minister, in the 2016-17 Budget, announced 1% excise duty on non-silver jewellery.

Strike by jewellers enters 17th day

19 Mar, 2016 | Source : Mint

Gold traders and jewellers, whose pan-India strike continued for the 17th day on Friday, said they would not call off their strike till the government rolls back 1% excise duty, but expressed willingness to pay tax in some other form. "We will continue this strike indefinitely as we have no other recourse. If we open our shops, we have to comply with the excise tax, which we will bring back inspector raj and 90% of the industry will be affected," All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation director Ashok Minawala told reporters.

Jewellers extend strike indefinitely

8 Mar, 2016 | Source : Business Standard

The jewelery trade says it will continue its strike against the Union Budget proposal for one per cent excise duty on purchases. Representatives of the India Bullion and Jewellery Association and All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation have met the finance minister and other ministers in this regard over the past week. The strike began right after the Budget was presented, a week earlier.

Jewellers extend strike for indefinite period

8 Mar, 2016 | Source : The Free Press Journal

Jewellers on Monday decided to continue their pan-India strike for an indefinite period against the Budget proposal to impose 1 per cent excise duty, despite the Centre's assurance that it would look into the issue. "We have met more than 358 associations affiliated with GJF, consisting of over 3 lakh manufacturers, retainers, artisans, among others, who have collectively decided to extend the strike indefinitely, till we get some positive announcement from the government," All India Gems and Jewellery Federation (GJF) Chairman Sreedhar G V told reporters here. He said the excise tax guidelines, which have been drafted for the gems and jewellery industry are not practically implementable and will be detrimental to the survival of the industry.

"We urge the government to withdraw the proposal. Our protest continues till the government takes cognisance of our views and acts favourably," he added. Jewellers have been on a strike since March 2, protesting against the proposed excise duty imposition on non-silver jewellery items made in the Budget 2016-17 as well mandatory quoting of PAN by customers for transaction of Rs 2 lakh and above. Representatives of GJF on March 4, met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to press for their demands. After the meeting, GJF had said the Finance Minister has assured that he will look into their grievances. But, the Federation still decided to extend the protest till today. He further said Jaitley had expressed concern and asked for alternatives to the excise duty. On March 3, the GJF delegation had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and gave him their representation.

"The PM gave us his valuable time and heard about our plight," he added. The industry is estimated to have incurred a business loss of Rs 10,000 crore during the sixday strike, which includes bullion, diamond and jewellery. The size of gems and jewellery industry is estimated at around Rs 3.15 lakh crore with the potential to grow to Rs 5 lakh crore by 2018. Meanwhile, supporting the jewellers' strike, the Confederation of All India (CAIT), in a statement, said revenue generation is necessary, but excise duty is not the only solution and other options can be worked out by talks between trade and the government. CAIT secretary general Praveen Khandelwal said there could be many other alternatives for augmentation of revenue, which will protect not only the interest of traders but also of the government. He said gold has been considered as the safest option for saving investments by majority of people in the country.

The levy of excise duty, TCS, custom duty and of VAT on gold will make it a costly option and will discourage consumers from investing in gold which will result in loss of business and lakhs of small artisans and traders across the country will be adversely affected, he added. Meanwhile, in a meeting of jewellers in Uttar Pradesh, it has been decided yesterday to go on indefinite strike, President of Uttar Pradesh Sarafa Association, Mahesh Chander Jain told PTI. That apart, all jewellers in Meerut continued their strike for a sixth straight day, President of Meerut Bullion Traders Association, Ravi Prakash Aggarwal said. Most of the bullion markets and jewellery showrooms have been closed since March 2 in major cities, including Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai.

Jewellers extend strike for indefinite period

8 Mar, 2016 | Source : The Indian Express

JEWELLERS ON decided to continue their pan-India strike for an indefinite period against the Budget proposal to impose 1 per cent excise duty, despite the Centre’s assurance that it would look into the issue. ‘We have met more than 358 associations affiliated with All India Gems and Jewellery Federation (GJF), consisting of over 3 lakh manufacturers, retainers, artisans, among others, who have collectively decided to extend the strike indefinitely, till we get some positive an nou nee -ment from the government,” GJF chairman Sreedhar C V said. Fie said the excise tax guidelines, which have been drafted for the gems and jewellery industry are not practically implementable and will be detrimental to the survival of the industry.

"We urge the government to withdraw the proposal. Our protest continues till the government takes cognisance of our views and acts favourably,” he added. Jewellers have been on a strike since March 2, protesting against the proposed excise d uty imposition on non-silver jewellery items made in the Budget 2016-17 as well mandatory quoting of PAN by customers for transaction of Rs 2 lakh and above. Representatives of GJF on March 4, met finance minister Arun Jaitley to press for their demands. After the meeting, GJF had said the finance minister has assured that he will look into their grievances. But, the Federation still decided to extend the protest till Monday.

Fie further said Jaitley had expressed concern and asked for alternatives to the excise duty. Meanwhile, supporting the jewellers’ strike, the Confederation of All India (CAU), in a statement, said revenue gen-eration is necessary, but excise duty is not the only solution and other options can be worked out by talks between trade and the government.

Jewellers body extends strike till Monday

5 Mar, 2016

The All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF), along with representatives from associated jewellery associations, has extended its strike till Monday. A day after the Budget, the Federation had announced that all the jewellers will down shutters till Saturday to protest against the levy of excise duty.

Senior officer bearers of the Federation called for an extension of the strike till March 7 to protest against the government’s adamant attitude to implement excise duty in the gems and jewellery sector. GJF had a meeting with the Prime Minister and submitted its representation, highlighting the foreseeable plight of jewellers following exercise duty levy, the Federation said in a statement on Friday. Over three lakh jewellers participated in the strike for last three days. The size of the domestic industry is estimated at about Rs 3.15 lakh crore with the potential to grow to Rs 5 lakh crore by 2018.

Another jewellers association, the Indian Bullion and Jewellers Association, has been on an indefinite strike over the last three days. The Budget imposed excise duty of one per cent on gems and jewellery sector without input credit and 12.5 per cent with input credit. GV Sreedhar, Chairman, GJF, said the excise guidelines, which have been drafted for the gems and jewellery, are not implementable and will be detrimental to the survival of the industry.

Ashok Minawala, past-Chairman and Director, GJF, said the excise regime would impact the very livelihood of the millions of Karigars and goldsmiths. The retail jewellery sector is apprehensive to be known as manufacturers and register for excise. This will lead to confusion and chaos, leading to large scale of discrimination amongst the various sectors that will result in unemployment in this industry, he said.

Jewellers to go on 3-day pan-India strike from today

2 Mar, 2016

JEWELLERS across the country have decided to go on a three-day strike from today to protest the proposed re-imposition of 1 per cent excise duty and mandatory PAN cards for any transactions of Rs 2 lakh and above, an industry grouping yesterday said. “We had a meeting with our members as well as with other associations under our network.

We have collectively decided to go on 3-day strike from tomorrow. More than 300 associations, including manufacturers, retainers, artisans among others across the country will participate in the stir,” said Sreedhar GV, chairman of All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF).

Sreedhar said gems and jewellery industry is disappointed with the government’s apathy towards the sector with the proposal of re-imposition of 1 per cent Excise Duty in the Budget 2016-17, presented on Monday by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. “We were already facing challenges and businesses have gone down by 25-30 per cent after the government’s decision in January to make PAN cards mandatory for any transactions of R2 lakh and above.

Instead of increase the slab to Rs 10 lakh from the current Rs 2 lakh, the government has created more difficulties by the proposal to re-introduce 1 per cent Excise Duty,” he rued. Sreedhar said, GJF is also planning to send a delegation soon with a representation to the Finance Ministry to explain the difficulties faced by the industry with these measures.

Jewellery trade bloc plans 3-day strike against excise duty

2 Mar, 2016

THE ALL India Gems and Jewellery T rade Federation (GJF) is planning to go on strike to protest against one per cent excise duty proposed in the Union Budget. The All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF) said jewellers, including manu facturer s, wh olesalers an d retai 1 ers will go for a three-day closure of their business to protest against the excise duty in the jewellery sector.

"We are compelled to take the decision of going for three-day all India ‘bandh’ of jewellery trade and manufacturing to protest against the excise duty which is damaging to the growth of industry. The proposed excise duty of 1 per cent without input credit or 12.5 per cent excise with input credit wi 11 create h uge 1 iabilities for small manufacturers, who employ unskilled day-to-day labour,” said GV S reed har, C hai nna n, GJF.

Excise duty was introduced and withdrawn in 2005 and 2012 when the UPA Government realised it was impractical to impose excise on a very large unorganized sector, he said. Ashok Minawala, Past Chairman of GJF, said, "Rs 5000 crore worth of business will be lost by the industry, while the government will lose revenue of Rs 500 crore.” Even after giving representations to the Finance Minister and explaining challenges that the sector is facing, the government has not done anything to boost the industry, Sreedhar said.

The industry, one of the highest employment providers, is already strugglingto survive with small jewellers shutting shops and artisans losingjobs. Finance minister Arun Jaitley had proposed 1 per cent excise duty on jewellery without input credit or 12.5 per cent with input tax credit on jewellery excluding silver other than those studded with diamonds and precious stones.

Gold jewellers to close shops for 3 days to protest 1% excise duty

2 Mar, 2016

Jewellery shops across India, the world’s biggest market after China, will shutter for three days starting Wednesday in a bid to reverse plans by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to impose a 1% excise duty, according to the All India Gems & Jewellery Trade Federation. The government should withdraw the levy announced in Monday’s budget because the industry is suffering from weak demand and high import taxes, Bachhraj Bamalwa, director at the federation, said by phone from Kolkata. The group represents 300,000jewellers and bullion dealers in the nation.

The India Bullion and Jewellers Association said earlier it was shuttering outlets at Mumbai’s Zaveri Bazaar, the country’s largest market, until further notice. The new duty comes at a time when the industry is facing a slowdown in purchases because of the surge in prices since the start of the year and after a poor monsoon cut harvests and incomes in rural India, a traditional source of demand. A three-week nationwide strike in 2012 was successful in getting Modi’s predecessor, Manmohan Singh, to drop plans for an excise tax, although the government subsequently introduced a 10 percent import duty.

Compliance burden

“It will be a headache for the small jewrelers, which make up 80% of the industry, and they will have another department to report to from a compliance point of view,” G V Sreedhar, chairman of the trade federation, said by phone from Bengaluru in south India, on Tuesday. “This will hurt their operational ability and this will flow down to the retail levelas well.”

The planned excise tax will make purchases more expensive for buyers and lead to irregular business practices, P R Somasundaram, managing director for India at the World Gold Council, said on Monday after finance minister Arun Jaitley announced the move. The planned levy will put a significant compliance burden on the industry, which has been weighed down by the import duty and a value-added tax, he said. India’s net imports of bullion were 897.5 tonne in 2015 and consumption was 848.9 tonne, according to data from the World Gold Council.

Jewellers begin 3-day strike over levy

2 Mar, 2016

The opening day on Tuesday of a three-day jewellers strike was only partly successful. A number of jewellers at the Zaveri Bazaar here had kept their shops open. However, more were expected to strike on Wednesday. “The decision was taken late Monday night and the message not fully passed on. A number of jewellers who kept their shops open on Tuesday have confirmed joining the strike on Wednesday,” said Mohit Kamboj, president of India Bullion and Jewellers Association (Ibja).

However, All India Gems & Jewellery Trade Federation (AIGJF) late in the evening, in a press statement, said the strike will be from March 2-4. “AIGJF, with co-ordination and recommendation from the All India Jewellery Associations announced that jewellers, including manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers, will go for a three-day closure to protest against the government's proposals of imposing one per cent excise duty in the jewellery sector,” the statement said.

Jewellers go on strike against excise duty

2 Mar, 2016

A day after the Budget, jewellers across the country have gone on an indefinite strike to protest against levy of excise duty and requested the Centre to increase the customs duty by one per cent instead of thrusting excise duty on it. Meanwhile, the All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF) announced its members including manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers will go on a three-day strike against excise duty.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, in his Budget, levied an excise duty of one per cent on gold and diamond jewellery, if a jeweller does not avail input tax credit, or 12.5 per cent with input tax credit. Ketan Shroff, Spokesperson, Indian Bullion Jewellers Association, said the industry is not against paying duty to the government but it should be collected without unsettling the business. “It is better for the government to hike customs duty by one per cent and collect the tax when the gold is imported into the country than setting excise department officials against the industry,” he told BusinessLine.

Most of the jewellers, he said, are small entities that cannot afford to maintain records to fulfil the needs of excise department. Asked on the financial loss to jewellers due to the indefinite strike, Shroff said it is better to deal with the issue and make the industry stand clear than worrying about the loss. GV Sreedhar, Chairman, GJF, said the industry is compelled to take this decision as the excise duty will create huge liability on small manufacturers, who mostly employ unskilled casual workers.

Ashok Minawala, past Chairman, GJF, said on an average the industry would lose business worth Rs 5,000 crore, while the government will incur a revenue loss of Rs 500 crore. Jewellery retailers are already up in arms against the government mandate to collect PAN details of customers who are purchasing jewellery worth above Rs 2 lakh. Prithviraj Kothari, Managing Director, Riddhi Siddhi Bullions, said bullion dealers and jewellery manufacturers have made several representations to the government for cut in import duty from the existing 10 per cent to two per cent to provide a fillip to the domestic jewellery sector. On the contrary, an excise of one per cent has been levied which will prove to be major setback for the organised players in the bullion industry, he said.

Jewellers to go on 3-day pan-India stir from today

2 Mar, 2016

Jewellers across the country have decided to go on a three-day strike from Wednesday to protest against the proposed re-imposition of one per cent excise duty and mandatory PAN cards for any transactions of Rs 2 lakh and above, an industry grouping said. “We had a meeting with our members as well as with other associations under our network. We have collectively decided to go on three-day strike from tomorrow.

More than 300 associations, including manufacturers, retainers, artisans among others across the country will participate in the stir,” All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF) chairman Sreedhar G.V. said here on Tuesday. Meanwhile, all jewellers associations and retailers in Kerala and Rajkot (Gujarat) went on strike from Tuesday itself. Mr Sreedhar said the gems and jewellery industry is disappointed with the government’s apathy towards the sector with the proposal of re-imposition of one per cent excise duty in the Budget 2016-17.

“We were already facing challenges and business have gone down by 25-30 per cent after the government’s decision in January to make PAN cards mandatory for any transactions of Rs 2 lakh and above. Instead of increase the slab to Rs 10 lakh from the current Rs 2 lakh, the government has created more difficulties by the proposal to reintroduce one per cent excise duty,” he rued.

He said, earlier, in 2005 and 2012, the government had introduced one per cent Excise duty in gems and jewellery sector but had to withdraw it as it was not practical with the industry comprising mostly under-educated but highly skilled people who are not equipped to handle the paper work required in it. GJF, he said, is also planning to send a delegation soon with a representation to Mr Jaitley to explain the difficulties faced by the industry with these measures. Mr Jaitley proposed one per cent excise duty on jewellery without input credit or 12.5 per cent with input tax credit on jewellery excluding silver other than studded with diamonds and some other precious stones.

Jewellers to go on 3-day strike for excise repeal

2 Mar, 2016

Jewellers across the country have decided to go on a three-day strike from Wednesday seeking roll back of the one per cent excise duty on jewellery proposed in the Budget. Jewellers said that the jewellery manufacturing sector is highly unorganised and involvement of one more department will be detrimental in the functioning of the industry. “More than the one per cent additional duty, the industry was worried about involvement one more department. Jewellery manufacturing is done by illiterate artisans and asking them to keep books and making them deal with another government department is highly detrimental,’ said G V Sreedhar, chairman, All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation.

“Compliance with the proposed excise duty is difficult because of its very nature of the industry. Work flows from one craftsman to another and documentation at each level is not possible,” added Pankaj Parekh, former vice chairman, Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council. The budget had proposed to impose excise duty of one per cent without input tax credit or 12.5 per cent with input tax credit on articles of jewellery. This will be levied mainly on gold jewellery as silver jewellery and diamond and precious stones-studded jewellery have been exempted from the tax. The duty is applicable for units that manufacture jewellery of Rs six crore and above. The budget also increased the concessional countervailing duty on imports of unrefined gold dore bars to 8.75 per cent from 8 per cent.

Previous budgets in 2007 and 2012 had tried to impose excise duty on jewellery, but had to roll them back following protests by the trade. In 2012, jewelers had gone on strike for 21 days seeking repeal of the duty. Over three lakh jewelers had gone on strike from March 17, 2012 and sales of over Rs 20,000 crore was lost during the period. “This time too all jewelers across the country will keep their shops closed for three days. Further decision on continuing strike will be taken later,” added Bachchraj Bamalwa, former chairman, GJF. The trade said it will lose an average of Rs 5000 crore worth of business while the government will lose revenue of Rs 500 crore by the strike. The strike will bring down the sales in the March quarter as both customers and stockists had been delaying purchases in February hoping import duty reduction. The gold import in February in expected to be 25 tonnes, down by over 60 per cent than the previous month.

Jewellers to go on 3-day strike to protest excise hike

2 Mar, 2016

Jewellers across the country have decided to go on a three-day strike from tomorrow to protest the proposed re-imposition of one per cent excise duty and mandatory PAN cards for any transactions of Rs 2 lakh and above, an industry grouping Tuesday said. "We had a meeting with our members as well as with other associations under our network. We have collectively decided to go on 3-day strike from tomorrow. More than 300 associations, including manufacturers, retainers, artisans among others across the country will participate in the stir," All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF) Chairman Sreedhar G V said.

Meanwhile, all jewellers associations and retailers in Kerala and Rajkot (Gujarat) went on strike from Tuesday. Sreedhar said gems and jewellery industry is disappointed with the government's apathy towards the sector with the proposal of re-imposition of one per cent excise duty in the Budget 2016-17, presented Mondayby finance minister Arun Jaitley. "We were already facing challenges and businesses have gone down by 25-30 per cent after the government's decision in January to make PAN cards mandatory for any transactions of Rs 2 lakh and above. Instead of increase the slab to Rs 10 lakh from the current Rs 2 lakh, the government has created more difficulties by the proposal to re-introduce 1 per cent excise duty," he rued.

He said, earlier, in 2005 and 2012, the government had introduced 1 per cent excise duty in gems and jewellery sector but had to withdraw it as it was not practical with the industry comprising mostly under-educated but highly skilled people who are not equipped to handle the paper work required in it. GJF, he said, is also planning to send a delegation soon with a representation to the finance ministry to explain the difficulties faced by the industry with these measures. Jaitley Monday proposed 1 per cent excise duty on jewellery without input credit or 12.5 per cent with input tax credit on jewellery excluding silver other than studded with diamonds and some other precious stones. Sreedhar said jewellers will take a call on future course of action after their meeting with finance ministry officials.

Jewellers strike gets mixed response

11 Feb, 2016

THE one-day strike call given by All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF) to keep the shops closed on Wednesday received mixed response in city. In West Nagpur, big jewellery showrooms participated in the strike while jewellery shops in Itwari market remained opened. The strike call was given by GJF to protect against Government’s ruling of imposing PAN card proof on purchase of Rs 2 lakh and above. “It strike was successful in city, except few shops, which are not giving permanent bills and are not members of GJF kept their shops open,” claimed Rajesh Rokade, President of Maharashtra Swarnakar Saraf Mahamandal, Vidarbha and Director of GJF. “The decision of one day strike was taken by 300 associations throughout the country,” said Nitin Khandelwal, Regional Executive Director of GJF.

He claimed there was 100 per cent response in Wardha and Akola while in other cities and even in small towns it was 90 per cent. “Few traders who are only giving estimate and quotation and are not organised or doing only cash business kept themselves away from the strike. He demanded that there should be no PAN card limit or if imposed it should be minimum at Rs 10 lakh limit. Gems and jewellery industry contributes about 3.5 per cent to the GDP. There are around 22.5 crore PAN card holders. Over 86 per cent population do not have PAN cards. “Under the new rule, PAN card verification responsibility is given to jeweller which is practically impossible for the jewellers. Women generally are not habitual to carry PAN cards. Indian housewife buys jewellery as a social security. Jewellery is not an item of luxury for her,” he said.

PAN card compulsion will make dent in biz: Nitin Khandelwal

11 Feb, 2016

NITIN Khandelwal, Regional Executive Director of GJF said, jewellery unlike gold bars has value addition of 15 per cent to 30 per cent where there is no scope of parking black money. PAN card requirement on Rs 2 lakh sales will kill the retail sector and value chain along with it. “If there is slowdown in industry, it will cast dark shadow on manufacturing. Goldsmiths and artisans who are in millions will be jobless. If PAN cards are mandatory, officially business will drop and jewellers promoting non billed cash sales will mushroom. Indirectly we will be discriminating the genuine and notorious, rural and urban.

This will slowly but surely snatch the livelihood of small artisans instead of encouraging them,” he said. “We are already complying with KYC and 1 per cent TCS requirement on sales of bullion on Rs 2 lakh and on jewellery of Rs 5 lakh upward. The gems and jewellery industry did not generate unaccounted money. We have desire to develop the 2,000 year old goldsmithing as one of the industries in India,” he said. Khandelwal also disclosed that after the presentation of Union Budget future course of action would be decided.

PAN display on jewellery buys may be raised to Rs 5L

19 Jan, 2016

WAIT till the Union Budget if you want to buy gold jewellery without too many complications. The government, which had made it mandatory for jewellers to seek a PAN card from every customer for a purchase exceeding Rs 2 lakh beginning January 1, has had second thoughts. Under pressure from jewellers across the country, who sought enhancement of this limit to Rs 10 lakh, the government may settle for a middle course of Rs 5 lakh. The government had made it mandatory for jewellers to seek a PAN card from every customer making a gold or ornament purchase of more than Rs 2 lakh. The scheme became effective from the first day of the New Year. But the jewellery trade, with other ideas, protested at the decision, which they said would be bad for business. The turnover in the gold jewellery industry will come down by 25 per cent every year from the current Rs 2,50,000 crore because of PAN being made mandatory, the all India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF) said.

It said that business will shift to a parallel industry that does not maintain accounts and the government will end up losing revenue.Under pressure, the government may not be averse to taking the middle path by neither sticking to the current limit not acceding to the demand completely, sources said. In two months, the government will also be able to collect some data on the impact of the new rule, the sources said. GJF’s chairman GV Sreedhar, said there is already a dip in sales in the organised sector, even though it is very early to quantify. Customers are hesitant to buy gold jewellery once they are asked to share PAN details, he said. The jewellers met finance` minister Arun Jaitley last week and requested him for raising the limit to Rs 10 lakh. “We are hopeful that the minister will do something in budget,” Sreedhar said. Jaitley told the jewellers’ body representatives that the government was concerned about checking black money and hence enacted the rule so that high value cash transactions could be tracked.

The government has also asked the jewellers to maintain data for six years from the date of purchase and keep it informed about the transaction every month. “Instead of taking action through its own agencies, the government has made us an informer of the income tax department,” a jeweller alleged. GJF has also expressed concern saying consumers may be denied their rights as some jewellers may split the bill into two or more to show the purchases below Rs 2 lakh. If a consumer buys jewellery worth more than Rs 2 lakh, but does not have a proper receipt to reflect that transaction, how can he or she redress their grievances should some problems arise at a later date, Sreedhar queried.

Jewellers protest Rs 2 lakh PAN threshold

19 Jan, 2016

Over 250,000 jewellers congregated across all major cities in India for a peaceful candle march to protest against the government's policy which has made quoting of permanent account number (PAN) mandatory for transactions of Rs 2 lakh and above. Effective January 1, the government has cut the threshold for PAN quotation which, according to jewellers, reduced their sales at least by a quarter as consumers deferred purchase of medium- and high-end jewellery weighing over 60-70 grammes.

“Jewellers felt the need for a peaceful protest to attract government’s attention to the issue. We also met with the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and drew his attention to the problems faced by the industry with this regulation. In fact, the finance minister justified the step to curb black money from gold jewellery trade. Since, the government has taken many steps in the past to smoothen trade and improved transparency, we are confident that the this issue would also be shorted out with an increase in PAN threshold,” said G V Shreedhar, chairman, All India Gems & Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF), the organiser of the protest.

Jewellers oppose PAN for deals over Rs 2 lakh

A jewellers’ federation has opposed the government’s decision for mandatory furnishing of PAN details for transactions above Rs 2 lakh. The measure has been introduced to curb the flow of black money into the system and discourage the use of cash transactions for highvalue purchases. The All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF), national trade federation of the gems and jewellery sector, said the decision would hurt the industry and prevent people from rural India from purchasing gold ornaments. “This is not practical and will discriminate against 70 per cent rural buyers, including farmers, as they are not under tax net and do not have PAN cards.

We urge the government to remove PAN requirement in the jewellery sector and maintain status quo on application of TCS on sale of bullion worth Rs 2 lakh and jewellery worth Rs 5 lakh,” GJF chairman Sreedhar GV said in a statement. “The gems and jewellery sector does not attract black money since there is value addition of 15-20 per cent in developing the products while bullion is the preferred segment for investment by black money holders. Today, people buy jewellery items not only for their daily use but also for essential purposes such as festival and religious functions, including weddings,” he said.

Overall, the GJF said the decision on requirement of PAN was not fair and justifiable under law as it tantamount to discrimination against a large number of people who did not have PAN. In India, hardly 8 to 10 per cent of the population had PAN, it said. “The gems and jewellery sector is not a generator of black money. More than 80 per cent of the value of jewellery is raw materials such as gold and silver, which are legitimately imported,” said Bachhraj Bamalwa, director, GJF. The jewellery sector will find it difficult to encourage buyers to visit showrooms due to the new restrictions, said Ashok Minawala, director, GJF.

“It is a negative step for the industry as it will neutralise benefits arising out of the monetisation scheme, which is positive. As of March 31, 2015, 22.3 crore PAN cards have been issued in India. Will it be justifiable to ask for PAN details of 89- 90 per cent of the population, which does not have the card?” Mr Minawala asked. Titan, which receives 75 per cent of its revenue from jewellery division, saw its stock falling marginally down to Rs 353.9 in a firm Mumbai market on Thursday. Titan, in a regulatory filing, said cash transactions of individual products amounted to less than 10 per cent of the revenue jewellery division in the recent past.

Diamond industry forced to rough it out

For Suresh Lalan, a physically challenged diamond unit owner, the last six months have been the toughest/ He had to cut 120 jobs and was forced to shut down 30 out of 35 emery wheels at his unit, established about 25 years ago. At present, Lalan runs the unit with less than 10 diamond polishers. Lalan is not an isolated case.

The world’s largest diamond cutting and polishing centre in Surat has come under the grip of recession owing to drastic fall in orders of polished diamonds in the wake of massive economic crisis in China and Eurozone. Surat’s diamond industry, which processes Rs 90,000 crore worth of polished diamonds per annum, has seen over 350 small diamond units shutting shop in the last four months, rendering over 20,000 workers jobless. Around 50,000 diamond workers from Bihar have moved out of the city with the drastic reduction of polished diamond manufacturing by the unit owners.

Baring a couple of big diamond companies, most units have cut production of polished diamonds by over 60 per cent. Wages of the diamond workers have been reduced by almost 50 per cent due to cut in production -- diamond workers are paid on piece-meal basis. For the first time ever, rough diamond imports have declined by almost 26 per cent between April-September- 2015 compared to same period in previous year. This is going to directly impact the livelihood of 4.5 lakh diamond workers as there will be less rough diamonds to process, further creating unemployment in the industry.

Regional chairman of Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), Dinesh Navadiya told, “Diamond industry has hit a rough patch. Rough diamond prices are edging upward, while the sluggish global demand has created inventory pileup, resulting in the polished diamond prices fallen by more than 20 per cent.

As per GJEPC data, the polished diamond export from India fell by 14 per cent to $10 billion between April- September 2015 compared to $12 bullion during the same period in previous year. In 2014-15, India export polished diamond worth Rs 23 billion.

The industry has seen default cases worth over Rs 3,000 crore from Surat and Mumbai. Diamond analyst, Anirudha Lidbide told, “The industry is sitting on a huge stockpile of polished diamonds running into billions of dollars. Without clearing the inventories, diamantaires will not take risk of processing more rough diamonds. Even the Christmas season is quite a dampener for the industry this time due to falling demand from the US.”

India defers rough import ban

India's gem and jewelry industry leaders deferred a rough diamond import ban, for now, and urged self discipline at manufacturing businesses that import and purchase rough stones.

In a meeting held between the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), the Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB) and Mumbai Diamond Merchant Association (MDMA), leaders discussed the way forward given a sluggish outlook for diamond demand, severe lack of liquidity and profitability at the manufacturing level and the misalignment of rough prices against polished prices.

As stated by the GJEPC following the meeting, the group of leaders unanimously decided to defer a voluntary rough import ban, similar to one enforced in November 2008, for the time being. In addition, several issues were addressed by the organizations' leaders, resulting in action items.

While rough imports would continue -- however restrained it might be -- business owners must make their workforce the first priority, according to the leaders. The three groups, along with the Surat Diamond Association (SDA), will create a committee of 10 to 15 business owners from all areas of the trade to bring forward pressing issues. A delegation of nominated representatives from the trade will meet diamond miners, bankers and governmental agencies to review the issues affecting the manufacturing sector.

The group also stated it would take promotional efforts forward with diamond miners and other segments of the industry to increase diamond and jewelry demand. All stakeholders will be taken into confidence, including small manufacturers from Surat through the SDA. The situation will be monitored and a follow up meeting will be held in one or two months to discuss the outcome of these actions.

A committee will be formed within a week, comprised of members from GJEPC, SDA, BDB and MDMA. The first order of business for the committee will be to look into the integrity of the trade and suggest long term and short term measures.

Sanjay Shah, the director of Gold Star Diamond Pvt. Ltd., said, “It is up to the individual to restrict themselves.

"With the current scenario, I feel that if we do not produce diamonds and jewelry for the next six months, minimum, it may help improve the situations," he added.

According the Sanjay Shah, there have been no efforts to push sales through strong marketing campaigns at the consumer level and at the wholesale level, there has been overstocking of goods at every level -- from rough diamonds to finish jewelry - both issues of which remain of great concern.

India's Special Notified Zone for Rough Imports

India's gems and jewelry industry has finally received the government's approval to establish a Special Notified Zone (SNZ) at the Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB) in Mumbai for rough diamond imports, re-exporting and trading. Industry experts believe that this move will go a long way to strengthening India’s position as a leader in manufacturing of polished diamonds.

Aptly summing up what the development means for the industry, an industry veteran at the bourse said on condition of anonymity, “The SNZ definitely comes as a big relief to the diamond manufacturers and the diamond industry, which faced a lot of regulation over rough imports and re-exporting unused or unsold consignments. As such, it is good news for the manufacturers.”

Reiterating this view, Sanjay Shah, the director of Gold Star Diamond Pvt. Ltd., added, “This is a positive move. It will help India to be a rough trading center, especially when we have more direct imports coming from various mines.”

A circular published by the government of India stated that it will permit the trading of rough diamonds from leading diamond mining companies at the SNZ. To facilitate this, the department of Commerce and the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) sought a regulatory framework under the Customs Act. After consultations with other regulators, which included Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and with industry groups such as the BDB and GJEPC, the necessary provisions were created to facilitate viewing, auctions and sales of rough diamonds at the BDB beginning July 1.

The SNZ, as defined by the BDB, shall house facilities for the receipt, storing and viewing of imported rough, in addition to auctions and sales. It shall include all necessary commercial, security and customs related facilities incidental to these activities. To ensure transparency in the deals and also keeping in mind safety issues, the BDB is required to submit the floor plan and proposed facilities, including security related features, for approval to the Commissioner of Customs.

Earlier, all the diamond manufacturers in India used to travel to China, Antwerp, Israel, the UAE, etc., to secure rough diamonds as the goods weren't allowed to come directly to India. During the World Diamond Conference that was held in New Delhi in December 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured the participants of establishing the SNZ, keeping in line with the "Make in India" project, where India is being projected as a manufacturing hub. So far, 21 companies have been approved by RBI to participate in consigning rough diamonds at the SNZ. According to the circular, the importing of rough diamonds will be permitted through air cargo only. No imports through hand carriage or express courier services will be permitted. Among other things, the rough diamonds being imported will need to be certified by the Kimberley Process.

GJEPC and the BDB will establish the India Diamond Trading Centre company, which will be entrusted to log and monitor the carat weight with the import invoice, packing list and Kimberley Process certificate. Thereafter, the parcel will be sealed and transferred to the strong room at the SNZ. The SNZ will be accessible to traders for viewing goods and any auctions and/or sales that take place. The GJEPC shall define the eligibility conditions for visitors, as guided by Customs rules. All persons permitted to visit the SNZ shall be issued a photo identity card by India Diamond Trading Centre.

According to the circular, the sale of rough diamonds from the SNZ shall be of a single or multiple lots, but no sale of a sub-lot will be allowed. During the viewing and sale process, mixing of lots will not be permitted.

Zaveri Bazaar to get new address

Zaveri Bazaar, the hub of India's gold and silver trade in south Mumbai, might soon get a new address, just like the diamond trade which has been gradually relocating from the city's congested Charni Road area to the much larger Bharat Diamond Bourse in the Bandra-Kurla complex.

Negotiations are on between leading industry body India Bullion and Jewellers Association (IBJA) and Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC), the state's nodal agency for industrial develop. for allotment of land to the trade. IBJA, consisting of 1,100 members, is proposing to shift either lock stock and barrel from the crowded Zaveri Bazaar to the city of Panvel, close to the proposed new international airport, or two nearby locations.

The discussions began after IBJA approached chief minister DevendraFadnavis, who, in turn, asked MIDC to consider allotment of land around Panvel. "We have requested for around 500 acres to be allotted in Panvel, and will take a call based based on the amount of land which can be earmarked for setting up a jewellery park, knowledge centre and accompanying facilities," said Ketan Shroff, spokesperson, IBJA.

Currently, scores of jewellery manufacturers, gold refiners and bullion traders, operate out of the highly congested market at Zaveri Bazaar, where an estimated 40% of India's gold trade takes place each year. "It's highly inconvenient in terms of logistics, security, well-being of workers and ease of doing business. This has made it imperative for us to consider a new location," added Shroff.

Zaveri Bazar is the country's oldest jewellery market. Until six-seven years ago Zaveri Bazaar accounted for 65% of the country's bullion trade. But traders moved to Ahmedabad, India's bullion capital, when the Maharashtra state government imposed stamp duty of 0.1% on gold and silver in addition to an octroi of 0.1% on gold and 2% on silver. Ahmedabad imposes neither octroi nor stamp duty.

RSBL opens 3rd jewellery showroom ‘Sparsh’ in Mumbai

In its endeavor to expand and reach out further to its customers, RSBL DIA Jewel’s (a group company promoted by RSBL), a leading name in bullion industry, launched a state-of-the-art touch of elegance jewellery showroom in Bandra, Mumbai. This is the third showroom of RSBL under the jewellery brand ‘Sparsh – Touch of Elegance’.

The showroom was inaugurated by Prithviraj Kothari, Managing Director,RSBL in the presence of well known dignitaries from the industry. Sparsh,will offer bespoke creations made with precious gemstones ranging from diamonds, deep red rubies, green emeralds, and cool blue sapphires to semi-precious stones that include peridot, turquoise, topaz, tourmaline and aquamarine, all in fine gold.

A truly unique service that Sparsh – touch of elegance will provide to its clientele is Buy back facility. It’s one of the first of its kind where a client can exchange their old Diamond jewellery of Sparsh – touch of elegance with a new one from its store.

GSI Lab to offer Sarine Profile with Diamond Grading Reports

GSI (Gemological Science International), one of the world's largest gem labs, is pleased to announce that it has decided to incorporate into its polished diamond grading and education services the full SarineProfileTM, including deriving the stone's light performance grade based on SarineLightTM-measured data and providing the SarineLoupeTM imaging and detailed Hearts and Arrows and 3-D Cut proportions graphic renditions. The joint collaboration between two of the industry's most technologically advanced companies will offer many new possibilities to their wholesale and retail customer base.

As part of their mission to provide state-of-the-art services, GSI has opted to adopt the SarineProfileTM and utilise it for light performance measurement and analysis, imagery and Cut quality graphic rendition. This cooperation between GSI and Sarine underscores a mutual commitment to excellence, as was evidenced by the early adoption of Sarine'sgroundbreakingDiaMensionTM Axiom by GSI, and signals a new level of the relationship between the two companies.

Debbie Azar, GSI's co-founder and Executive Vice President, stated that, " We have evaluated the SarineProfileTM and have compared it to the other systems available today, and are convinced it is a unique solution, which meets our criteria for technological leadership perfectly."

Uzi Levami, Chief Executive Officer of Sarine, stated, " Sarine's industry leading technologies are designed to advance the diamond industry, whether in the manufacturing midstream or the polished trade downstream to ever greater levels of quality and efficiency. We are confident that the envisioned cooperation will benefit both new and existing customers - logistically and commercially."

Sequel Logistics expands to US and Belgium to establish its global foot print

As a first step to establish its global foot print, Sequel Logistics has set up its fully owned subsidiary and commenced operations in US and Belgium. With the formation of Sequel International Logistics USA Inc., and Sequel International Logistics Belgium NV, Sequel will now extensively service the US and Europe markets through its own network for precious & life-science logistics.

Sequel Logistics has achieved a dominating presence in India as the premier secured logistics solution provider in a very short span of time. Today, Sequel manages movements of valuable cargo in excess of USD 20 billion, annually, through an enviable secure network of 20 high-grade vaults, 40 secured hubs and 120 armored trucks, providing service to 265 towns and 5000 pin codes on a regular basis. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Sharad Jobanputra, Chairman & Managing Director, Sequel Logistics said, “As demonstrated in India, our operational excellence, risk management through our unique insurance cover as well as superior Information Technology, Sequel will provide the customers in US, Belgium and India, a secure, seamless network and most importantly, a revolutionary service experience. It shall be our never ending obsession to 'put a smile on our customer's face'.”

Speaking on the future plans for US and Belgium, S Rajkumar, Founder Director & CEO said, “As demonstrated in India, Sequel management is deeply committed to investing and owning its network capabilities in US and Belgium as well, with regards to fleet, hubs, IT and clearance capabilities, among other things needed for us to take up the leadership position in both these geographies. Our efforts in India will continue, to ensure that we not only retain our current market leadership position, but also to constantly work on enriching and re-defining our customer's experience.”

NCDEX launches “Gold Now”, a New National Market for Gold, Opens Centre in Hyderabad

The National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange Limited (NCDEX), launched “a new national market for gold” recently, and last week opened a new delivery centre at Hyderabad, its fourth in the country after Ahmedabad, Chennai and Delhi.“The ‘Gold Now’ platform is the first transparent and convenient online market for buying and selling gold,” said NCDEX in its announcement. “Aligned with the “Make in India” campaign of the government, the platform will accept gold recycled in exchange-approved refineries as Good Delivery. This is intended to reduce the dependence on imports.”

The Gold Now platform has been launched with the perspective of providing an impetus to the domestic recycling industry, which, at present consists of 17 refineries. “After a year-long exhaustive and meticulous accreditation process which was designed and conducted by three leading experts of international repute, the Exchange has approved four domestic refineries as Good Delivery on the Gold Now platform,” NCDEX said. “They satisfy the stringent financial, technical and customer due diligence standards established by the Exchange.”

The exchange explained that “Gold Now will offer bullion in 1-kg and 100-gm forward contracts for six centres with daily delivery facility through T+1 and T+2 settlement system.” NCDEX also announced that in addition to the first four centres, delivery will also be available in Mumbai and Jaipur shortly.

“Approximately 20,000 tonnes of gold is estimated to be lying with Indian households, temples and trusts,” NSDEX added. “If mobilised effectively, this could create a domestic supply of gold, while reducing dependence on imports, in line with the government’s proposed Gold Monetisation Scheme.”

Suresh Devnani, Head-Business, NCDEX, commented: “With the launch of the Gold Now national marketplace, we are creating an ecosystem that is at par with international standards which will help the Hyderabad bullion and jewellery industry improve its efficiencies.”

Jewellery exhibition from Sunday in Patna

A three-day jewellery exhibition was held at Patna on June 28, where several branded and non-branded jewellery collections from across the country will be exhibited and sold.

Besides famous brands like Tanishq and Geetanjali, Royal Chains, Mangal Jewellers from Mumbai, Manik Chand Jewellers, RB Jewellers, RD Karel, all from Kolkata, and many more from Delhi, Varanasi and Gorakhpur displayed their exclusive range of jewellery. Entry to the exhibition, held at Hotel Patliputra Exotica, Exhibition Road, was free. However, the visitors need to carry identity proof to clear the security check.

The exhibition has been organized by SwarankarSamajVikasAvamShodhSansthan (SSVASS), which had organized such an exhibition last year as well.

Apart from the jewellery exhibition, new machinery and tools used in making jewellery will also be on display for merchants and artisans. A special workshop will also be organized for artisans where they will be trained in use of new technology.

The dealers of Bihar bring their stock from metros as the mechanical production of jewellery in Bihar is almost zero. Bihar traders are forced to buy jewellery at a higher cost from different cities as jewellery available in Bihar is work of the artisans. Handmade jewellery have higher production cost and poor designs. Our objective in organizing the workshop is to encourage people to use machinery for their work to bring down production cost," said Arun Kumar, state president of SSVASS.

SSVASS national president KiranVerma said their organization would also help in economically weak artisans gaining access to government schemes for loans and other monetary benefits.

FIEO delegation at China-South Asia Expo

With an objective to bridge the widening trade deficit with China and showcase Indian products, Federation of Indian Export Organizations, participated in the 3rd China-South Asia Expo to be held at Kunming, Yunnan, held from June 12 to 16.

India was the partner country in this expo this year and is putting up 110 booths. The 5-day expo, a combination of trade fair and high-level forums for investment and trade promotion discussions between China and South Asia, including South East Asia, was part of China's Bridgehead Construction strategy to establish Kunming city and Yunnan province as a gateway between China and its neighbours.

In the last five years, the bilateral trade between India and China has grown from USD 57.6 billion in 2010-11 to USD 72.3 billion in 2014-15. The trade volume between India and Yunnan alone has been to the tune of USD 523 million.

FIEO's participants include Indian companies from various sectors such as leather handicrafts, jute products, garments, gems, jewellery, spices, etc.

FIEO president S C Ralhan, who hails from Ludhiana, led a pan-India delegation of 150 exhibitors. He also addressed the China South Asia Business Forum on accelerating business through the Silk Road Economic belt. Ralhan is one of the leading exporters in North India with an experience of over four decades. He represents the hand tools sector.

India being flooded by second-hand diamonds

Second-hand diamonds, snapped up by the consumers in the United States, Japan and China due to economic slowdown, are now flooding India. Diamond jewellery consumers in a few countries including Japan, China and the United States sell their jewellery articles studded with diamonds. While gold, silver and platinum are recycled for jewellery making again, the diamonds and gemstones of such articles are exported to India.

The value of second hand diamonds is 35 per cent less than the fresh diamonds of same colour, clarity, size and carat weight. Diamantaires import diamonds at cheaper value and after redesign and processing, sell the diamonds again in the global jewellery market.

As per official data from Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), India imported $7 billion worth of diamonds in 2014-15 compared to $6.5 billion in 2013-14. Majority of the diamonds imported were treated as secondhand diamonds. It must be noted that the polished diamond import in the country attracts two per cent import duty. The diamantaires do not mind paying import duty when they know they are getting huge profit by redesigning the second hand diamonds.

Alibaba extends global reseller platform to Indian jewellers

Second-hand diamonds, snapped up by the consumers in the United States, Japan and China due to economic slowdown, are now flooding India. Diamond jewellery consumers in a few countries including Japan, China and the United States sell their jewellery articles studded with diamonds. While gold, silver and platinum are recycled for jewellery making again, the diamonds and gemstones of such articles are exported to India.

The value of second hand diamonds is 35 per cent less than the fresh diamonds of same colour, clarity, size and carat weight. Diamantaires import diamonds at cheaper value and after redesign and processing, sell the diamonds again in the global jewellery market.

As per official data from Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), India imported $7 billion worth of diamonds in 2014-15 compared to $6.5 billion in 2013-14. Majority of the diamonds imported were treated as secondhand diamonds. It must be noted that the polished diamond import in the country attracts two per cent import duty. The diamantaires do not mind paying import duty when they know they are getting huge profit by redesigning the second hand diamonds.