‘Reinstating critical concessions historic decision’- Gem & Jewellery Industry | Daily News


 

‘Reinstating critical concessions historic decision’- Gem & Jewellery Industry

Liyakath Rasvi
Liyakath Rasvi

The directive to reinstate critical concessions for the Gem & Jewellery Industry, among many other concessions is a historic decision by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa that will uplift this industry to regain its position as a top foreign exchange earner to Sri Lanka.

Error! Filename not specified.“Since 1971 the Gem & Jewellery Industry has been extended with certain tax concessions by successive governments. Unfortunately this was unwisely retracted in the new Inland Revenue bill introduced under the patronage of international donors in 2017 despite relentless representations by the industry of its detriment effects to the country,” said Secretary, China Fort Gem and Jewellery Traders Association (CGJTA) Liyakath Rasvi.

Competitor countries such as Thailand and Hong Kong achieve USD 15 billion and USD 25 billion annual export revenue from Gems & Jewellery respectively. Despite both being non-producing countries,they achieve these targets thanks to the friendly policies for the trade of gem and jewellery. Neither of these countries have any Government Authority to impede the export activities of the industry - they have enabled a hassle-free environment for exports.

The new tax policies will encourage a large volume of rough gemstones from other sourcing countries particularly from Africa to be supplied to the international market through Sri Lanka after value addition using our centuries old expertise in the art of gem cutting, polishing and heating. The brand ‘Ceylon Sapphire’ commands a premium position in the world of coloured gemstones - with the guidance of the President and Prime Minister, the industry will be able to achieve hub status in the near future.

More than 300,000 people are engaged in this industry and CGJTA is very proud to mention that Sri Lankans are today at the forefront of knowledge in rough gemstones, which is very complex. We are also thankful to the President and Prime Minister for making it obstacle free to bring in rough gemstones from anywhere in the world into Sri Lanka. These rough gemstones are value added and almost all are re-exported, earning valuable foreign exchange for the country.

Critical decisions taken by the President will strengthen competitiveness to increase this value addition and Foreign Exchange earnings.

“Removal of import duty on gold is indeed a critical step which helps our jewellers regain competitiveness internationally and to be able to sell high-end jewellery to the tourists and significantly increase all important foreign exchange earnings.”

 


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