Members of the diamond industry along with Gujarat Cabinet minister Nanubhai Vanani and BJP MLA Harsh Sanghvi on Saturday met Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, seeking withdrawal of the proposed GST on interstate business of the precious stone. In a protest against the GST on the industry, the diamond units in Surat remained closed for a day on Saturday.
So far, the industry is exempted of any form of taxation. Diamond merchants from Surat, including Surat Diamond Association president Dinesh Navadia, prominent traders Govind Dholakia, Lalji Patel (who had bought Modi name-striped suit in an auction), Mukesh Patel and Mathur Sawani, met Nitin Patel and Gujarat State VAT commissioner P D Vaghela, and discussed with him the issues diamond industry will face after the GST is implemented.
BJP MLA of Surat Majura Harsh Sanghvi (diamond jewellery businessman) said, “The meeting was satisfactory and we are hopeful that a solution will come up soon. The industry is only having problem with the 3 per cent GST on interstate business of diamonds. Generally, a diamond businessman owns a factory in Surat and a trading office in Mumbai… this will create problems. Apart from this there are many diamond merchants who cannot export directly, but they contact the exporters in Mumbai and through them they export diamonds.”
Navadia said, “We don’t have any problem with 0.25 per cent GST on rough diamonds and 5 per cent of job work. We are hopeful that something will be done on the next GST meeting in Delhi on June 18.”