The gem and jewellery industry has sought reduction in customs duty on gold to four per cent, withdrawal of tax collected at source (TCS), cut in import duty on polished precious and semi-precious gemstones, in the upcoming Union Budget 2021-22.

All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council (GJC) Chairman Ashish Pethe said , "We urge the government to reduce the customs duty on gold to 4 per cent from the current 12.5 per cent. If the tax rate is not kept at this level, it will encourage smuggling and encourage people to do unorganised business."

He further urged the government to keep goods falling under HSN-71 (Harmonised System Nomenclature) out of the purview of TCS provisions as the amount of funds blocked in TCS is 6.67 times more than the ability to pay income tax, resulting in blockage of funds.

Pethe also said the facility of equated-montly instalment (EMI) should be extended to the gems and jewellery industry and to increase the cash purchase limit to Rs 1 lakh from the current Rs 10,000.