GST on gold: Buying and making jewellery to get expensive for customers

It can be said that those who are not computerised and internet savvy have to be out of business

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The Goods and Service Tax (GST) Council has been kind enough to provide a special 3 per cent GST to gems and jewellery sector ( the exception being rough diamonds at 0.25 per cent).

Going by the economic survey of India and the hype which was created in the run-up to this meeting, a much higher rate was feared. However, the rate of GST for jewellery is in line with what it was under the old tax regime.|economy news

GST has increased paperwork and lot of compliance. Only time will tell if we as a country or an industry are ready for it.

The immediate impact would be on the investment buying of gold by consumers as the resale value will be down by three per cent. Here’ an example:

Mr A bought gold worth Rs 100

Paid GST                                Rs 3
                                         —————
Total cost                            Rs 103

Now, after 6 months he wants to sell this gold and presuming that the gold price remains constant, he will get Rs 100 and the GST amount would be lost at the consumer level.

The transaction impact cost has increased from about one per cent to three per cent.

From the government’s point of view, this is in line with their thinking/ planning — don’t invest in physical gold, rather invest in gold sovereign bonds. The consumer will also be better of as there is an interest coupon attached to bonds and it tracks local gold prices.

The exchange business of old jewellery for new ones will also be affected as the cost of 3 per cent will affect the transaction.| economy & policy

Another area which will affect the industry and the consumer is making of gold jewellery out of gold/scrap supplied by the customer. At present, there was no tax impact on the making of jewellery. Labour or making charges of jewellery were exempt from service tax (similar exemption was also under excise rules ). Under GST no such exemptions exist and making charges will be subject to 18 per cent GST. This is an undesired result.

Export from domestic tariff area (other than SEZ ) will be hit on two counts:

One, there is no exemption from GST for gold procured for export purposes. This would mean a higher blockage of working capital.

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