Excise commissioner M Sreedhar Reddy allays fears of jewellers

Gold jewellers have raised voice against 2 new excise duties.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Commissioner of Central Excise and Customs M Sreedhar Reddy, in an attempt to assuage the concerns of gold jewellers, said that excise officials would not visit the premises of jewellery manufacturers. “Our officials will not interfere in the daily activities of gold manufacturers. If at all this happens, action will be taken,” the Commissioner said in a press conference here on Tuesday.

Gold jewellers across the country have raised a banner of revolt against two new excise duties that have been announced in the Union Budget this year. These include a nominal excise duty of one percent (without input tax credit) and another duty of 12.5 percent (with input tax credit). This is the first time that excise duties have been imposed on gold jewellers.

“Traders worry that the new levy will invite interference from the Excise Department, that they will be frequently visited by our officials. They fear harassment,” Mr Reddy said. “The Centre wants to improve the ease of doing business in the country and we too have adopted that as our slogan,” he added.

A major charge was that small artisans will be subject to taxes. Mr Reddy said no. “An artisan or goldsmith who only manufactures jewellery on job-work basis is not required to register with the Central Excise, pay duty and file returns,” he said.

There are generous exemptions, too. “A jeweller needs to pay tax only if his turnover during the preceding financial year was more than Rs 12 crore. Small manufacturers, therefore, will be left out,” he said. The total number of jewellers who will come under the tax net will be known only after jewellers come forward to pay the tax.

Another concern for jewellers was the need to open a new register for excise tax. “There is no need. The records they have already opened for VAT or even their private records will be enough,” he said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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