India’s leading gem and jewellery trade body – the All India Gems and Jewellery Federation (GJF), welcomed the Government’s move to abolish the 80:20 Rule for gold imports. The trade body has been actively approaching the government to reform the gold import rules which had dampened trade activity in the country. In regards to the supply, import and increasing CAD the GJF had proposed that there be unlocking of idle gold in the country to the tune of 1,000-1,500 tonnes within three years through Rashtriya Swarn Nivesh to reduce CAD further. GJF also sought the formation of a nodal Ministry to represent it. Considering that the Government (through RBI notification dated November 28, 2014) has withdrawn the provisions contained in A.P.(DIR Series) Circular No.25, and the subsequent clarifications issued from time to time, resting with the A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No.133, GJF has also sought clarity on whether circulars prior to August 14, 2013, including those on restrictions on import on a consignment basis and gold loan still prevail – if they are, then the latest circular is more restrictive instead of being beneficial to the trade. Mr. Haresh Soni, Chairman, GJF, said, “We sincerely thank the Prime Minister, Union Ministers and bureaucrats for giving a fresh lease of life to the gems and jewellery sector, which has been gasping for breath. On behalf of all member Associations across India, we reiterate our support to the Government for its various initiatives to remove trade distortions while stimulating growth in the economy and overall development. GJF also recognizes its responsibility of self-regulation.” He added, “We urge the Government to initiate the process of creating a comprehensive gold policy and we shall support it wholeheartedly. We are hopeful that gold supply will be better now and lakhs of craftsmen will be able to get jobwork.” He also requested government support to ‘curb gold smuggling from neighbouring countries by reducing gold import duties’. Mr. Manish Jain, Vice Chairman, GJF, said, “GJF urges the Government to bring down the duty on gold from 10% to 5% first and then 2% eventually as it will make smuggling unprofitable.” Mr. Bachhraj Bamalwa, Director, GJF, added, “We also urge the Government to include gems & jewellery sector in ‘Make in India’ initiative”, thereby encouraging India’s craft and its craftsmen. He also proposed that “the difference between import duty of raw material (gold and silver) and finished jewellery (gold and silver) to be maintained at minimum 10 percent (for gold) and 15 percent (for silver). “When the manufacturing of jewellery in India will be costlier after paying the import duty and premium, than there will be a tendency to import finished jewellery directly from abroad. This deprives lakhs of livelihood in the manufacturing industry,” he added.