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Commerce and Industry concerned over direct tax code
July, 03rd 2010

SGCCI (Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry) has shown concerns about the amendments made in the direct tax code, for gems and jewellery sector. The chamber president has expressed fears that if amendments are not rolled back, the entire industry may move out of the country.

Office bearers of SGCCI made representations to top officials of the finance ministry and Central Board of Direct Taxes on this issue.

The main objection raised was for section 139 (2) (e) and(f) of Income Tax code and section 190 of TDS. As per amendments made in I-T, officials can seize entire stock of gems and jewellery, if they find discrepancies in stock register and balance-sheet.

"This will again bring back the 'inspector raj' even as the sector is still facing trouble due to the global recession. Diamond business and entrepreneurs can be unnecessarily harassed by the department," said Ajoy Bhattacharya, president of SGCCI.

He said if this continues in the long run, it may result in investment being shifted out of India. Jewellery association also expressed concerns about the negative effects of the amendments. "No jeweller or diamond trader can maintain 100% percent record of his stock, as large number of dealings take place each day.

GJEPC exported gems and jewellery worth Rs1.30 lakh crore in last financial year and this shows the potential of our business," said M Choksi president of city jewellers association.

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