Business district in Mumbai, India
The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) has appealed for improvements in ease of doing business in India alongside developments in e-commerce and financing, among other policy concerns.
GJEPC officials presented these issues to Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during a video meeting last month.
Colin Shah, chairman of GJEPC, cited the need for measures and reforms "that would strengthen the ease of doing business in the gemstone and jewellery industry and make it self-reliant."
Some of the concerns presented in the meeting involved having an e-commerce policy for the sector; making the MyKYCBank platform mandatory for all companies; allowing miners to sell rough diamonds to Special Notified Zones or SNZs; clarification on an Online Equalisation Levy for B2B international diamond auctions; reducing import duties on polished diamonds; and a gold monetisation scheme, among others.
Shah explained that the Covid-19 pandemic caused a paradigm shift in consumer behaviour across geographies, giving momentum to e-commerce. As such, a massive rise in online purchases is expected, so having a supportive e-commerce policy for the gem and jewellery sector is likely to boost online jewellery purchases.
In response to GJEPC's proposals, Sitharaman formed a special group, which includes customs and banking officials to resolve the issues presented by GJEPC and other industry-related concerns.
"We are hopeful that the market will recover soon as exports to the US, Europe and China have commenced. The special group would help address sectoral concerns and resolve trade-related bottlenecks. It’s an important step towards attaining ease of doing business,” noted Shah.