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GST rate on gems and jewellery should be 1.25%, says industry body

The Centre and states have already decided on a four-slab GST structure of 4%, 12%, 18% and 28% for most items.

business Updated: Jul 08, 2017 18:46 IST
HT Correspondent 
HT Correspondent 
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
GST,gems and jewellery,tax
(Reuters photo)

Ahead of the rollout of Goods and Services Tax from July, an industry body on Tuesday urged the government to keep the levy on gems and jewellery at 1.25% as against the present VAT and excise duty rates of 1% each.

While states are passing the necessary legislation for the new tax regime, the GST council is scheduled to finalise the rates for individual items at a meeting on May 18-19, to pave the way for the country’s biggest tax reform that will unite the country into a single market.

The Centre and states have already decided on a four-slab GST structure of 4%, 12%, 18% and 28% for most items.

There are apprehension that the GST council may fix the tax rate at 4% for gems and jewellery so as to make up for lower levies on items consumed by the poor.

“We have demanded for 1.25% GST rate. We hope the government accepts it. We are trying hard to convince them on this issue,” All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF) chairman Nitin Khandelwal told reporters here.

Higher GST rate would affect organised players badly, GJF said, adding that the industry is pitching for lower tax to bring unorganised players on board so that their dealings are reported online with greater transparency.

GJF representatives have met finance ministry officials as well as several state finance ministers on the issue and explain them the ground reality.

“We are fully prepared to implement the GST. Our jewellers are ready. We have developed a software to create awareness on the issue,”

Khandelwal and members of GJF were here to launch a 3-day event ‘Preferred Manufacturer of India (PMI)’, that will start in the national capital from tomorrow. The event aims to facilitate the country’s top gems and jewellery makers and wholesales/retailers to network and place orders.

About 45 top manufacturers and 150-200 wholesalers and retailers are expected to participate in the event, which has been held for last six years.

(With inputs from PTI)

First Published: May 16, 2017 19:19 IST