As predicted by Pramod Agrawal, the newly elected chairman of the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), India’s gem and jewelry exports will grow by a double-digit percentage this year.
He explained that the high quality of Indian manufacturing and a recovery in US and European markets will drive the growth and the GJEPC is planning to step up promotion in markets that lagged in recent years, including in Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America.
GJEPC was lobbying the government to retract its decision to raise the import duty on polished diamonds from 2.5% to 5%, Agraval says. The new duty creates an uneven playing field that will hamper the nation’s competitiveness with Belgium, Dubai and Israel, he added.
“We have asked the government to roll back the increase of the import duty,” he said at the event. He welcomed the January decision to cut the goods and services tax (GST) on polished diamonds to 0.25% from 3%, saying it would encourage trading in diamonds in the domestic market.