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GJEPC Takes Steps to Mitigate Impact of COVID-19 Crisis on Business

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GJEPC

The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) has initiated a number of steps to mitigate the impact of the ongoing health crisis related to the COVID-19 pandemic on the businesses of its member-exporters.

Import and export shipments

Following the announcement of a complete lockdown in 80 districts across the country and suspension of international flights for some period, the various regional offices of the Council have been monitoring both inward and outbound shipments and interacting with the concerned authorities to ensure that the import-export trade does not face unnecessary hardships.

In Jaipur, responding to a request from GJEPC, the Commissioner of Customs, Jaipur has assured that the department will waive the penalties on late filing of Bill of Entry this week, as importer’s offices are closed till 31st March. He has further assured that the department will consider extending the same should it be required as per the needs of the situation. If needed, the Council will also talk to the authorities about the waiver of demurrage.

In Surat, all shipments were cleared at the Surat Hira Bourse till Saturday, barring six which are now being taken back by the parties concerned, since exports are not possible at present. So, currently, the exporters are not facing any issues related to the waiver of demurrage.

Meanwhile, at Chennai the last set of export shipments were already shipped through Emirates. Currently, only Cathay Pacific is lifting, but there are no shipments at present. The only inward shipment that arrived on Saturday is being cleared at the earliest.

Relief Measures

GJEPC is working with the Central government and the concerned state governments as well as the trade to formulate relief measures for the job workers who are rendered jobless at present now and may face financial difficulties as a result.

Council is also interacting with the central government on various relief measures for businesses in the sector, particularly the MSMEs, and some concrete announcements are expected soon.

Some of the suggestions made to the government include:

– Revised criteria for definition of MSME from capital investment to turnover base

– Additional interest subvention of 2% for a total of 7% interest subsidy

– Relaxing NPA recognition norms from 90 to 150-180 days

– Priority lending with collateral requirement of only 25%

Long-term steps

GJEPC is also liaising with different trade bodies across the world and industry apex organisations such as World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) and World Gold Council (WGC) on steps that can be taken to ensure that supply and demand equilibrium and price stability is maintained during the difficult period that the industry is facing.

 

Courtesy: GJEPC

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