Mumbai: Gem and jewellery firms said the 2008/09 budget presented on Friday would not bring relief to the industry saddled by a rupee that appreciated 12.3% to the dollar in 2007.
The budget proposes to remove duty on rough cubic zirconia, and halve duty to 5% on polished cubic zirconia and rough coral to encourage value addition and export, Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram said.
“(This) is not going to give a boost to the industry...The industry had greater expectations,” Sanjay Kothari, chairman, The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council said.
“It was not interesting for us,” Vinod Shetye, chief financial officer of Shrenuj & Co Ltd , which uses neither coral nor zirconia in its manufacturing.
“It’s an election year budget,” he added.
The industry wanted duty removed on polished coloured gem stones and cut on plain gold jewellery below 18 carat.
The duty reductions would benefit employment and trading, Mehul Choksi, chairman Gitanjali Gems Ltd said.
India’s gems and jewellery exports grew over a fifth in the first half of 2007/08 helped by cuts in import duties of rough jewels, according to the annual economic survey.