Jewellery sector turnover of Rs.2-3 lakh crore must be taxed

New Delhi, March 4 (IANS) With the strike by the Indian gems and jewellery industry continuing for the third day, the government on Friday asserted that the sector should be taxed and, thereby, become part of the system.

The jewellers began a three-day pan-India strike on Wednesday to protest the Budget 2016-17 proposals which envisaged re-imposition of one percent excise duty on gold and diamond jewellery and mandatory quoting of PAN by consumers for transactions above Rs.2 lakh.

“The gems and jewellery industry, with a total turnover of Rs.2-3 lakh crore, is untaxed. The government feels that this economic activity should come into the system and should be taxed,” Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) Member Ram Tirath said at a post-budget interaction here at industry chamber FICCI.

He said implementing the proposed levy has been “made as simple as possible”.

“One is not required to give any statement of stocks and there are no verifications required,” he said.

“Registrations will be granted within two working days of applying,” Tirath added.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has proposed a one percent excise duty on jewellery without input credit, or 12.5 percent with input tax credit, on jewellery, excluding silver, other than studded with diamonds and some other precious stones.

The Centre had earlier introduced a one percent excise duty on gems and jewellery in 2005, but dropped the cess subsequently.

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