In view of the coronavirus pandemic, the government on Monday announced the extension of a deadline for mandatory hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts by over four months till June 1, 2021.
The Centre, in November last year, had announced that hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts would be made mandatory across the country from January 15, 2021.
Almost every leading cosmetics company from Procter & Gamble and Emami to Nivea and Johnson & Johnson focused on whiteness or fairness variants. But now, companies don’t have a choice but to change course, said industry executives.
The goods exported from Hong Kong will now be considered goods made in China for duty purposes. With tension between the US and China increasing over the spread of Covid-19, Indian jewellers and diamond traders who have offices in Hong Kong are worried over the flow of exports of gems and jewellery from China to the US.
The jewellery industry is expecting the consumer demand for gold to falter further amid surging prices of the precious metal and economic slowdown.
Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) officials said with China imposing the national secuirty law on Hong Kong, the USA has given indication of raising duty on goods from there to 7.5 per cent from 3.3 per cent. Without going into the nuances of the US move, I feel it will possibly create opportunities for India in gems and jewellery trade," GJEPC chairman Colin Shah told.
“Major exports were happening to Hong Kong and China only in the current scenario. But if a lockdown is announced, it will majorly impact our exports,” said Mavji Patel, managing director of Kiran Gems, a leading diamond exporting firm.
Most of the artisans, or karigars, who work at jewellery manufacturing hubs in the country hail from West Bengal. Jewellers are ready to take them to work only if they take half of their salaries for at least three months till Diwali, when the industry is expecting sales to pick up.
The World Gold Council in a report titled 'Online gold market in India' said the COVID-19 disruption has caused jewellery retailers in India to re-evaluate their existing business model and noted that online retail adoption accelerated during COVID-19 across categories.
Leading formal wear fashion brands are coming up with new clothing lines that focus on “comfort” and “functionality”, prompted by the Covid-led changes in consumer need.
During April-June this fiscal, the exports dipped by 54.79 per cent to USD 2.75 billion as against USD 6.07 billion in the same period last year.
"In view of COVID-19 pandemic situation, the government today extended relief to gems and jewellery sector by relaxing the requirement of re-import of cut and polished diamonds, which have been sent abroad for certification and grading, by three months," it said.