CONCERN IN THE DIAMOND SECTOR
But the diamond and jewelry sector were concerned that the government decision is likely to lead to business shifting to other diamond centers. In statement released after the government announcement, Pramod Agarwal, Chairman of the Gem & Jewelry Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) said that the raise in import duties would impact all aspects of the diamond and jewelry trade in India and impact “a large part of employment in the sector.”
“Other global trading centres such as New York, Dubai and Israel would be at an advantage and the import duty hike could encourage malpractices in India. We at the GJEPC are constantly working with the government to initiate measures favorable for the growth of exports, and we are hopeful that rupee stability in future would bring relief to the trade,” Mr. Agarwal stated.
The stakes are very high. After crude oil and petroleum products, the export and import of gold, precious metals, precious stones, gems and jewelry accounts for the largest portion of India’s global trade. The industry currently contributes about 7 percent of the country’s GDP.