India Govt May Raise Tax On Lab-Grown Stones To 10%July 02, 14
(IDEX Online) – The Indian government may increase the import duty on man-made diamonds to 10 percent in order to remove the price differential with natural diamonds, according to The Indian Express.
The finance ministry is planning to impose the 10 percent customs duty on cut and polished synthetic diamonds since jewelers have allegedly sold lab-manufactured diamonds at an inflated price.
“The price of man-made diamonds is cheaper than the natural ones to the tune of 30-60 percent which can be used to cheat the customers,” the report cited a senior finance ministry official as saying.
“To protect the interest of the natural diamond industry, it is imperative to consider customs duty on cut and polished synthetic diamonds on a par with similar stones which is currently 10 percent.”
The Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) has also told government officials about complaints it has received regarding the sale of non-disclosed lab-made stones.
The GJEPC last year set up a National Diamond Monitoring Committee to ensure segregation of natural and lab-made diamonds in the market. “The industry needs to make sure that consumer confidence in the industry is maintained through segregation of the natural and man-made diamond value chain and disclosures at every step,” a source said.
As an additional measure to protect consumers’ interests, the finance ministry is likely to impose 5 percent duty on rough synthetic diamonds. This is likely to happen again at the behest of the GJEPC, which has also demanded transparent declaration and proper nomenclature for lab-grown diamonds to protect the interests of traders and sellers of natural mined diamonds.