The government recently increased the customs duty on categories of diamond such as semi-processed, half cut or broken, and cut and polished coloured gemstone to 7.5 per cent, from 5 per cent earlier, and increase in import of jewellery articles from 15% to 20% in a move to narrow the current account deficit (CAD).

Mr Pramod Kumar Agrawal, Chairman, The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) said, "GJEPC welcomes the step undertaken by the government to narrow the current account deficit .

The import duty increase in cut and polished diamonds and processed colour Gemstone from 5% to 7.5% would increase the cost of business for the sector and impact exports and trade. India, a global leader in Diamond Processing, is not just a Hub for Processing roughs, but also caters to varied forms of re processing of diamonds and diamond jewellery. A substantial size of cut and polished diamonds and coloured gemstones sold to clientele world over, in the form of either loose or set in jewellery are imported for re setting in new design or products as desired by the customers.

There are broken, damaged sold goods and semi processed stones too, that form considerable part of import of cut and polished diamonds. This would lead to practical inconvenience and limit the business of cutting and polishing impacting large part of the employment in the sector .

Other global Trading centers such as New York, Dubai, Israel would be at an advantage and the import duty hike could encourage malpractices in India "

"We at GJEPC are constantly working with the Government to initiate measures favourable for growth of exports, and we are hopeful that rupee stability in future would bring relief to the trade", he added

Mr. Agrawal welcomed the Increase in import duty on jewellery from 15% to 20% by saying "this move would not only help the sector strengthen jewellery manufacturing in India but also give a boost to Jewellery exports from India, a step towards establishing Brand India jewellery".