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Finance Ministry should reduce customs duty of gold and silver, says Yogesh Singhal, Chairman, Bullion and Jewellers' Association

ANI | Updated: Feb 01, 2022 19:49 IST

New Delhi [India], February 1 (ANI): Ahead of the presentation of the Union Budget 2022-23, the gem and jewellery industry asked for the reduction in customs duty of gold, silver and diamond.
Following this, the customs duty of diamonds has been reduced to 5 per cent from the earlier 7.5 per cent. However, the customs duty of gold and silver remain unchanged.
"The gold and silver traders are feeling discouraged and it seems that the government has done step-motherly treatment towards them", said Yogesh Singhal, Chairman, Bullion and Jewellers' Association.
According to Singhal, the reduction of customs duty would reduce the smuggling of gold and thus save huge revenue loss on the government ends.
"Customs Duty, GST and Income tax are imposed when gold is imported legally. However, gold that comes illegally do not fall under a custom duty, income tax and GST. So all kinds of taxes are waived by the government. Whatever gold is imported, it is done illegally through hawala channels. So the foreign currency which is supposed to come in the bank doesn't get in and instead go through hawala. So, the government face loss from it as well", said Yogesh Singhal.

"We just wanted to bring it down to 5 per cent. If the government had not reduced the customs duty, then the cess and surcharge imposed on it would've been 10.75 per cent. So if cess and surcharge would've been removed, the jewellery industry would've liked it", added Singhal.

"Our biggest expectation was Income Tax, which former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had also said that in 5 years, they would bring it to 25 per cent. Till today, it is not 25 per cent. The highest slab of income tax sits at 43 per cent, according to Crorepati tax. We were wishing that at least the taxation would come down to 20 per cent so that the business should be moderate and there is no artifice", said the Chairman, Bullion and Jewellers' Association.
According to Singhal, the reduction in taxes would benefit the government as well as the general public. He said that next year the government should definitely consider a reduction in the individual tax system. (ANI)