Mumbai, July 13 (IANS) The Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) on Friday thanked the Centre and the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) for carrying out a thorough investigation exposing the Rs 3,000 crore diamond import scam.
The GJEPC termed it as “unfortunate” and said that the acts of some individuals and companies were hurting the trade at large.
GJEPC – the apex body of the gems and jewellery industry representing over 6,000 exporters in the sector and established by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce – said it has been taking initiatives time and again to sensitize the government about irregularities.
“GJEPC thanks the Centre and DRI for the thorough investigations exposing the Rs 3,000 crore diamond import scam. As the apex organisation entrusted with the welfare of 6,000-plus members and more than five million livelihoods dependent on this industry, we have been taking initiatives time and again to sensitize the government about any irregularities,” it said in a statement.
It was unfortunate that a group of people “who are not members of GJEPC” have used gem and jewellery products as a conduit for money laundering and malpractices”, the body said and claimed that over the past months it was engaged in a sustained campaign in exposing the malpractices.
“We have sensitized the government on large overvaluation of several imports from Hong Kong, along with proof of such overvaluations. In fact, persons from GJEPC’s trade acted as whistle-blowers in uncovering the malpractice,” it said.
Iterating that all the companies indulging in this malpractice “were not members of our Council”, the GJEPC said it possessed documentary evidence of its efforts and support provided to government agencies.
“It is unfortunate that acts of certain unverified individuals and companies hurt the trade at large, an industry that supports five million lives directly. GJEPC managing committee thanks its members who acted as whistle blowers and information providers in unearthing the huge scam,” the statement said.
The gem and jewellery industry contributes seven per cent to India’s GDP and 14 per cent to merchandise exports.