Home / Politics / Policy /  Only jewellers with over Rs12 crore turnover to pay excise duty: finance ministry

New Delhi: With the strike by jewellers continuing for the third day over imposition of excise duty in the budget, the government on Friday clarified that the tax will be applicable only on jewellers with large turnovers.

In its clarification, the ministry of finance said that the additional levy will only be imposed on jewellers whose turnover was more than 12 crore in the previous financial year, thus sparing small jewellers.

In Budget 2016-17, an excise of duty of 1% without input tax credit and 12.5% with input tax credit has been imposed on articles of jewellery with the exception of silver jewellery.

“Only if the turnover of a jeweller during the preceding financial year was more than 12 crore, he will be liable to pay the excise duty. Jewellers having turnover below 12 crore during preceding financial year will be eligible for exemption up to 6 crore during next financial year. Such small jewellers will be eligible for exemptions up to 50 lakh for the month of March 2016," the clarification said.

The Central Board of Excise and Customs has also promised simplified compliance norms for jewellers who pay tax. To avoid harassment, central excise officers will not visit the premises of the jewellery manufacturers.

Further, they have also been given the option of centralized registration so that jewellery manufacturers do not need to take separate registrations for all their premises. Registration will be granted within two days and there will be no post registration physical verification of the premises. They have also been spared the need to maintain separate records for the excise duty.

“Jewellers’ private records or records for state VAT or records of Bureau of Indian Standards (in the case of hallmarked jewellery) will be accepted for all central excise purposes," it said.

Excise duty will be paid on a monthly basis with a simplified quarterly return form. Earlier in the day, the jewellery trade associations extended the strike till 7 March.

“The excise guidelines, which have been drafted for gems and jewellery, are not practically implementable and will be detrimental to the survival of the industry," G.V. Sreedhar, chairman of the All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation, said in a statement.

More than three lakh jewellers, including manufacturers and artisans, are participating in the strike, the statement added.

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