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Niti Aayog tax reform recommendations possible only if country’s balance sheet improves


Bhargava Vaidya, a veteran in the gold bullion and jewellery industry,articulates his views on some of the recommendations of the Niti Aayog report, “Transforming Indian gold Market”. Excerpt from the interview with him at the 15th India International Gold Convention …

NitiAayog’s report “Transforming Indian Gold Market” has recommended “Make in India”? How could Make in India help the sector?

“Make in India” is avery good recommendation. We should be able to get benefit from it.We have lakhs of artisans in the jewelleryindustry. If theseartisans are trained on modern tools and techniques, then, we will be able to get a premium for our jewelleryin the world market.Unfortunately, at present, Indian hand-madejewellery,is sold by weight.  Through make in India programme, this can be changed over a period of time. Then we can hope to get a value for our artisan’s workmanship and design and hope to sell jewellery on aesthetics and design appeal.

Niti Aayog has also recommended a set of Tax reforms. Your views on the same?

The thought process behind the tax reform proposals is good. If you think from gold industry point of view, the recommendations of reduction in customs duty and other tax reforms proposed are very good. However, from overall economy point of view, the country’s balance sheet should improve first. For that, GST collections should improve. So,let’s not hope too much in the short term.

Everyone agrees on the need for revamping the gold monetization scheme. How in your opinion, should we go about it?

I know it will be a very long process. We have had a good start. Everyton of gold monetized is every ton saved. So today it may be three tons, tomorrow it may become six tons. It won’t be long before it touches 300 tons. So, we need to keep pursuing it with honesty.

I also hope that NITI Aayog and the government come out with ways in which entire trade is involved in the monetization scheme. We are not getting the desired results by alienating jewellersfrom the scheme. In the past, the entire ‘gold saving schemes’, which is more than 150 tons,wererun by jewellersthrough chit funds and other collective saving schemes. If jewellersare properly involved, on-boarded in a structured format and somebody takes care of logistics and control, then it will be easier to get success in the gold monetisation scheme.

How has been your experience at IIGC 2018 so far?

It’s a great. I have been here every year except for once. I think I have found it better every time. New location is very nice. I have started enjoying the extracurricular activities also, Thank you

Disclaimer: Views are personal and not the views of the publisher.