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Gems and jewellery industry demands, VAT be exempted on exports
November, 26th 2010

The gems and jewellery industry is demanding that value-added tax (VAT) be exempted in Andhra Pradesh on exports of gems and jewellery, like in the states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

The Andhra Pradesh government should introduce the Best Jewellers award to encourage more jewellers to enter the export market, said Ruban Hobday, regional director of Chennai-based Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council.

Hobday was addressing a gathering at a workshop on Prospects and opportunities of gem and jewellery sector in AP, organised by the Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Fapcci) in Hyderabad on Wednesday.

Speaking on the occasion, Karikal Valaven, commissioner of industries, said the Indian gems and jewellery industry was one of the fastest-growing segments in the Indian economy with an annual growth rate of over 15 per cent.

The industry recorded an export turnover of $16 billion during 2008-09, making it a significant exchange earner for the country. The UAE was the largest importer of gems and jewellery from India in 2008-09, with a share of 31 per cent. This was followed by Hong Kong and the US with 25 per cent and 20 per cent respectively, he added.

According to Shekhar Agarwal, president of Fapcci, there was a need to create more infrastructure facilities for the industry.

Common testing labs, exclusive gems and jewellery parks and incubation facilities, besides upgradation programmes for artisans in the sector should be created in places like Guntur, Nellore, Kadapa and Visakhapatnam where traditional designs are being practiced, he said.

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