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Gem and jewellery manufacturing exempted from the ongoing emergency measures for Covid: Maharashtra govt

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MUMBAI: Maharashtra State Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray again this year allowed gems and jewellery export operations to resume with restrictions in number of people working in export units during the ongoing night curfew, weekend lockdown and restrictions of people at workplace and travel, to curtail the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic.This has been resulted due to persistent communication and requests made by The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) and other jewellery export associations.

 The Chief Minister of Maharashtra Uddhav Thackeray conducted a virtual meeting on the evening of Friday, 9th April, 2021, to review the requirements of the Indian gem and jewellery industry during the current period of restriction in the state.

Attending the meeting on behalf of the Maharashtra Government were Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte, Health Minister Rajesh Tope, Principal Secretary of Relief & Rehabilitation Department Aseem Gupta and Medical Education Minister Amit Deshmukh.

Representing the trade were GJEPC Chairman Colin Shah, GJEPC Vice Chairman Vipul Shah, Kirit Bhansali, Chairman Jewellery Park, key members of the trade and GJEPC Executive Director Sabyasachi Ray among others.

During the meeting, Gupta clarified that as long as work could be carried out in shifts, gem and jewellery manufacturing and ancillary activities in the state would be exempted from emergency measures such as night curfew and restrictions on people’s movement during the day, weekends, etc.

In his concluding remarks, Chief Minister Thackeray spoke of solutions to overcome the uncertainty surrounding the third and possibly fourth waves of COVID-19 infections sweeping across the world. Thackeray urged the trade to adapt to the “new normal” and move away from the ‘peak-hour’ concept and instead reorient to working in shifts, with only essential staff being called to the workplace, while other employees could continue working from home.

 

Colin Shah requested the Chief Minister to consider a waiver on the double stamp duty paid by the diamond industry when seeking loans from banking consortiums. He also pointed out that none of the Nominated Agencies were importing gold into Mumbai as Maharashtra is the only state to impose stamp duty on gold imports. A waiver of stamp duty on gold imports into Mumbai would boost the state’s revenues, he explained.

Colin Shah said, “I would like to thank Hon’ble Chief Minister of Maharashtra Uddhav Thackeray for giving a patient hearing to all our concerns and guiding us.” In reply, Thackeray promised to look into the GJEPC Chairman’s requests after a period of 10-15 days.

“I urge the Hon’ble CM to recognize Parichay Card issued by the Council to every worker/artisan in the industry by the Home Department of the Government of Maharashtra considering GJEPC has also linked affordable Health insurance coverage and subsidies to the card that benefit the Karigars in the Sector.  Parichay Card (Karigar) holders of GJEPC should be considered on priority by the Government  for Affordable Housing Scheme of the state”, Shah added

Other points represented and put forth by GJEPC included Waiver on Stamp duty on the Lease and Sub-lease Agreement of Jewellery Park along with Single Window Clearance Facility for the Jewellery Park.

 

Courtesy: Retail Jeweller India News Service

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