Millennium Post

Diamond customs duty rationalised at 2.5%

Government on Thursday rationalised the basic customs duty at 2.5 per cent for all kinds of diamonds, the move which industry hailed but expressed disappointment over no cut in gold import duty. Presenting the Budget for this year, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, ‘To prevent misuse and avoid assessment disputes, the basic customs duty on semi-processed, half cut or broken diamonds, cut and polished diamonds and coloured gemstones is being rationalised at 2.5 per cent’. At present, semi-processed, half cut or broken diamonds are exempted from basic customs duty, while cut and polished diamonds and coloured gemstones attract basic customs duty of 2 per cent, he added.
‘To encourage exports, pre-forms of precious and semi- precious stones are being fully exempted from basic customs duty,’ Jaitley said. Welcoming the government's move, Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council said, ‘However the jewellery sector is largely disappointed as the import duty on gold has not been reduced even by 2-3 per cent, which will continue the occurrence of gold smuggling.’
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