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Trade body supports levy of ‘drought’ tax in Maharashtra

Gems and jewellery

Mumbai : Gems and jewellery traders have come out in support of the Maharashtra Government’s decision to levy an additional surcharge on a host of items to raise funds to tackle the drought-like situation in the state, saying the move is in the interest of farmers.

The All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF) said it will support any measure taken to support farmers.

“The gems and jewellery sector has a long continuing relationship with farmers and any pro-farmer move will be supported by the Federation.

“In fact, we have urged the entire gems and jewellery industry to be part of the government’s social impact programme of helping drought-hit farmers by accepting the drought surcharge as part of the organised trade dealings,” Ashok Minawala, Director of GJF, told reporters here today.

The GJF represents over 6,00,000 members and entities comprising manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, designers, distributors, laboratories, gemologists and allied services to the domestic gems and jewellery industry.

Minawala said the GJF is also taking several steps to collaborate with the government. The key industry contributes nearly 6-7 per cent to India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

To raise funds for tackling drought-like condition in several parts of the state, the BJP-led government last week imposed a surcharge of Rs 2 on petrol, diesel and increased VAT on liquor, cigarettes and beverages by 5 per cent.

It also imposed a 1.20 per cent surcharge on VAT on gold and diamond jewellery. The additional levy will be in force for five months.

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