Online assessment of gems, jewellery export to check blackmoney

Sunday, Mar 20, 2016,11:37 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | In order to check blackmoney, the Finance Ministry has made assessment of export of gems and jewellery, running into several thousand crore of rupees annually, online. The move comes a fortnight after the chief of Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) Najib Shah said the jewellery sector lends itself to generation of unaccounted wealth.

The online assessment facility for export of gems and jewellery has been started from air cargo complex here. The assessment of exports of precious cargo had been going on manually at the MMTC complex in Jhandewalan for over two decades even though the import consignments were assessed electronically at the airport’s cargo complex, customs officials said. The export assessments continued in the manual mode due to lack of a custodian at the Jhandewalan complex.

With the online assessment of the precious consignments, there will be fast processing and reduction in transaction cost. It will also bring in greater transparency as there will be no human interference while processing the export, said S R Baruah, Commissioner (air cargo export) at Indira Gandhi International Airport. He said exporters will be able to get export benefits like duty drawback online as the systems of customs department will be linked with Reserve Bank of India and Directorate General of Foreign Trade.

It is a landmark decision to shift export of gems and jewellery from manual to Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) module. It is beneficial for trade, Baruah told. The gems and jewellery export stood at USD 25.95 billion during the first ten months of the current fiscal, according to Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). Exports of gold medallion and coins had increased to USD 4.50 billion during the ten-month period of this fiscal from USD 2.03 billion during the corresponding period in previous fiscal, the GJEPC said.

The sector contributes about 14 per cent to the country’s overall exports. The move to shift the export of gems and jewellery to EDI mode is important as authorities suspected money laundering and generation of blackmoney. This is a sector which lends itself to generation of unaccounted wealth, Shah had said at an event here earlier this month.

Revenue intelligence officials feel that they would be able to track suspected shipments accurately through online mode to effectively check blackmoney and money laundering. CBEC member Ananya Ray inaugurated the facility on Friday.