Friday, 23 Feb, 6.52 am Deccan Herald

Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council denies report on imports of diamond

The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) has refuted reports of a massive 'four-fold surge' in the imports of cut and polished diamonds into India from 'unspecified' locations during the period April-November 2017.

Actual imports of cut and polished diamonds for this period stand at $ 1,527.43 million, and represent a decline of 14.44% as compared to $ 1,785.17 million for April-Nov 2016.

According to the GJEPC, the media reports are based on provisional figures and discrepancies in the data published on the website of the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCI&S), Kolkata.

Firstly, the total figure of US$ 6.3 billion quoted as imports of cut and polished diamonds comprises two distinct categories â€" Actual Imports and Return Consignments, both terms officially used in trade parlance and by the Customs department.

The former, which are actual imports and based on monetary transactions, have actually declined by 14.44% in the current fiscal, as per the figures mentioned above.

Return consignments, which comprises gems & jewellery (including diamonds) taken abroad for the exhibition, export promotion or brand promotion purposes, and diamonds and gemstones sent abroad for certification by international laboratories which are always returned with certificates, are generally consignment exports, where, as per statute, no monetary transactions are involved.

The figures for Return Consignments recorded by GJEPC are $ 4,945 million in April-Nov 2017, which is almost the same as the $ 4,978 million in April-Nov '16.

GJEPC said, "Consignment imports cannot be termed as imports" in a real sense, but are only "certified exports" for re-import. They are goods that go out of the country, but may come back if unsold or are meant to come back in case of certification and so at Customs, "no import duty is also levied due to the same reason".

Moreover, in all consignment exports that have to be compulsorily imported back, the country of origin is mentioned as India, the Council clarified, and these consignments are reflected as being of 'unspecified' origin in the DGCI&S data.

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