Gems and Jewellery sector stands with government in battle against COVID-19 spread
GJC members to support PM’s clarion call for Janata Curfew on 22 March 2020
Mumbai: All India Gem & Jewellery Domestic Council (“GJC”), a national trade federation with representation of over 6 lakh jewellers from across India, has extended its wholehearted support and cooperation to the Government in the battle against COVID-19. GJC members will support Hon. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s clarion call for Janata Curfew on Sunday, 22 March 2020, to fight the pandemic. Since the last 14 years, GJC has been serving as a bridge between the Government and the Gem & Jewellery trade as well as undertaking various initiatives on behalf of and for the industry.
GJC has a rich legacy of voluntary service by jewellers for the benefit and upliftment of fellow industry colleagues as well as artisans and craftsmen engaged in the profession. The safety and wellbeing of members and industry constituents is always its priority and keeping that in mind, GJC has issued COVID-19 Advisory to appeal to the Make in India indigenous industry members to play a responsible role and assist everyone including employees, karigars, artisans, customers, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, distributors, laboratories, gemologists, designers and allied services; - so that everyone remains safe and healthy by taking all possible precautions.
Mr. Anantha Padmanaban, Chairman, GJC, said, “GJC’s members across the country will extend all possible support and cooperation to the Government of India in the ongoing battle against COVID-19 pandemic. We are fortunate that our Central and State Governments are working 24 X 7 to make sure that we all remain safe. We welcome Hon. Prime Minister’s Janata Curfew on 22 March and we shall strive to make it a success. As a responsible body, we are issuing the advisory for the well-being of the entire jewellery fraternity across the country.”
The Gems and Jewellery Industry has always been a caring sector and GJC is always supported by the industry to stand with the government in its fight to control such situations.
Amidst the fear of the virus, the indigenous gem and jewellery sector in the country has come to a standstill with virtually no footfalls in jewellery stores. Many jewellers have to even shut down their shops located in malls and shopping complexes. However, this being last month of the financial year, there are lot of due dates like Advance tax payment, Maturity date of Gold Metal Loan, Interest payment on Gold Metal Loan etc.
Mr. Padmanaban added, “Pertaining the above issue, we have sent a recommendation to Hon’ble Prime Minister stating our concern and we have received a prompt and favourable response from the PMO.
We are further please to hear about formation of a task force under Hon’ble Finance Minister which was part of Prime Minister’s address to the Nation on 19 March 2020. Considering the crisis situation, the domestic gem & jewellery sector seeks immediate relief measures to enable the trade to function smoothly. Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji had proposed setting up a COVID-19 emergency India Fund and RBI has taken measures to address liquidity issues - GJC urges Government officials and Banking sector officials to consider the issues faced by Gem & Jewellery sector, which is one of the top 3 job creators and employers in the country.”
GJC urged the Government to give further extension of at least 180 days for repayment under the Gold Metal Loan (GML) scheme and interest thereon.
Most of the businesses avail CC / OD facilities for their working capital requirements. Keeping in mind the current market scenario, we have requested the government to grant us an extension in the payment of interest amount by atleast 180 days and also reduce the rate of interest.
March 15 is the due date for payment of the fourth and last installment of advance tax for the year 2020-21. Considering, the slowdown in the business due to recession and the escalated outbreak of Corona Virus (COVID – 19), many businesses have failed to make Advance tax payment. As a one-time relief, GJC urges the Government to extend the due date for the payment of Advance tax by atleast 180 days.
GJC also urged the Government for deferring the GST Return and extending the time limit for filing GST return.
We have also sought to reduce the customs duty to 4%. If rate of tax is not kept at this level, it shall encourage smuggling and encourage people to do unorganized business.
GJC feels that with the above support measures, the gems and jewellery sector could get motivated to overcome this sudden and huge crises.