28 April 2012

Nizam's Jewels, Timeless Treasures of India

Just the fact that there is jewellery worth over Rs.15,000 crore under one roof is staggering. Even if one doesn't consider the cost, the sheer magnificence of each of the exhibited pieces is enough to leave one speechless with awe and wonder. In Hyderabad, which is keeping up to its reputation of being a happening city, the two- month long exhibition of diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires and pearls, resplendent in all their glitter and colour, re-kindle memories of Hyderabad heritage. Belonging to the Asaf Jah dynasty, which was established in 1724, the jewellery has a historic past, and a colourful one at that.
It was in 1972 that the jewels of the Nizams of Hyderabad, rumoured to be one of the most exceptional collection, were offered for sale to the Government of India for Rupees 218 crore. The deal was struck. However, it has taken almost 23 years to finally acquire the jewels, after prolonged court cases and colossal expenses.

First, the jewels were shifted to the vaults of the Reserve Bank of India from the Hongkong Bank where they were being held earlier. Later, the jewellery was exhibited for the first time at the National Museum in New Delhi for about two months during September - December, 2001.

The 173 piece collection was built up over seven generations of the Asaf Jabs or the Nizams as rulers were called. Although the Nizams ruled over the Deccan, they had adopted the lifestyle, court traditions and administrative practices of the Mughals.

The jewellery, therefore, is a synthesis of Mughal, deccani, as well as European influences. It reflects the ethos of a dynasty that originated in the Mughal court, ruled the Deccan and was a staunch ally of the British empire. It was during the seventh and the last Nizam's -Mir Osman Ali Khan- time that care was taken to preserve the timeless treasure. It was difficult for the Nizams, who had a large family and a retinue of servants, to take of their own.

It was then that Mir Osman Ali Khan, with a view to safeguarding this fabulous wealth, started liquidating a portion of his astronomical fortune and allocated it to a series of trusts. The most unique of these was the Nizam Jewellery Trust, being the only one to have been established by an Indian ruler. He also created a supplementary Jewellery Trust, incorporated in 1951, being the only one to have been established by an Indian ruler. He also created another supplementary Jewellery Trust after allocating gifts to his grandsons in 1952. The trustees kept this treasure of great historical value in the vaults of the Hongkong Bank.

The present collection comprises a total of 173 items. The actual number of the pieces is 325 (counting individual pieces and not as pairs) excluding about 22 unset emeralds and the legendary Jacob diamond.

The collection includes a number of sarpench (bejew-elled headgear), necklaces, waist-belts, buckles, brace-lets, anklets, armlets, toe-rings, finger -rings, pocket watches, watch chains, buttons and cuff-links, to name but a few. All the jewels are flamboyant, yet, there are certain pieces which stand out for their unique quality, size and colour, and most importantly, for their workmanship.

Most of the diamonds used in the jewellery came from the mines in Golconda which were owned by the Nizams. This is one reason why all the pieces invariably have diamonds that are either uncut or cut into magnificent pieces by the local artisans. The luster and brilliance of the Golconda diamonds is most apparent in the sarpenchs, especially those that are to be worn over the headgear. These are in gold, set with diamonds, emerald beads and cabochon rubies. There is a very special sarpench which was made for a young prince, Mahabub Ali, when he ascended the throne. It is called 'Bachkana sarpench' and has been chosen to be the logo of the exhibition. The brilliance of Golconda diamonds set in this piece outshines that in any other piece. A solitaire set in gold, with five smaller diamonds on each side, has on its top an exquisite bird crafted with small diamonds for its plumage and a ruby as its eye. Interestingly, the bird holds a tiny 'taveez' (lucky charm) in its beak.


The organisers at Salarjung Museum have provided the perfect ambience for display of these priceless jewels. These have been placed in a specially built hall decorated with chandeliers, modern lighting and lush carpets. The ornaments have been illuminated with optic - fibre spot lights and are showcased behind bullet-proof glass. This royal collection is the only one of its kind owned by the Government of India.

Among the exhibited pieces, the imperial diamond, known as Jacob diamond, is a fabulour piece, Weighing 184.75 carats, this sparkling beauty is double the size of the Koh-i-Noor diamond and is said to be the seventh largest in the world. It was acquired by the sixth Nizam, Mir Mahabub Ali Pasha in 1891 from a Jewish trader, A.K. Jacob and hence the name. - (India Perspectives)

Source: http://www.funonthenet.in/forums/index.php?topic=81049.0#ixzz1tL31JJYu

The great jewellery robbery of 2007 bangaluru

The great jewellery robbery 

Thieves Walk Away With 30 Kg Of Gold Ornaments in Kammanahalli Heist


Bangalore: This is the biggest jewellery robbery Bangalore has seen — a daring heist in the morning and right in the middle of a busy area. Loot was worth a jaw-dropping Rs 4 crore.
    It is 10.45 am on Saturday. The Chemmanur Jewellery Showroom in the busy Kammanahalli area is partially open. Keeping one shutter open, nine employees, including four women, begin arranging the jewel display boxes to open the showroom at 11 am. The employees obviously are not expecting any customers and they go about their work quietly.
    What unfolds soon is the stuff of the movies. A man enters through the open shutter and points a gun at them. His other five associates follow him with pistols in their hands. Before the shocked staff could react, the robbers force the employees into the locker room and snatch their mobile phones. Holding a gun, one stands guard at the locker room door, while the other five grab all the gold jewellery in the showroom, conversing in four languages —
Kannada, Tamil, Hindi and English — all the time. Surprisingly, the robbers don’t close the shutter door, nor do they touch silver articles.
    Before leaving the place, the gang damages the four closed-circuit TV cameras. Taking the booty — over 30 kg of gold jewels and Rs 3 lakh in cash — they flee in a grey Indica car.
    The operation which began at 10.45 am lasted just over 20 minutes. The
CCTVs have captured the entire crime, up to the point of they being damaged. The employees alerted their bosses and the police. Since the robbers were not wearing gloves, forensic experts have lifted fingerprint samples.
    Joint commissioner of police (crime) Gopal B Hosur said these were major clues and would help in nabbing the culprits soon.
    The CCTV, which the Sunday Times
of India saw, showed that the robbers did not have any signs of urgency or tension while executing the crime. Through the open shutter, which was not shut, the movement of people on the road can be seen. GONE IN 20 MINUTES: The photo-grab from the CCTV cameras inside the jewellery store in Kammanahalli where the robbers struck on Saturday morning. One of the robbers can be seen flashing a gun
    Hosur said, “It is a pre-planned attack. Their casual approach shows they are professionals. They might have visited the place several times and studied the situation. They have gathered details about how the showroom operates, the security system and the employee strength, and have struck. But we are not yet sure, whether the weapons were real.”
    Chemmanur Jewellery GM Radhakrishnan said: “This is one of our main showrooms. We’ve a good security system, both men and gadgets. But the incident occurred when the security men were changing shifts. Employees could not do much as the robbers were flashing guns.”
    He said the showroom will be opened on Sunday. Of the 18 showrooms the Chemmanur Jewellers have in the state, seven are in Bangalore. 

 sousrce: http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Default/Scripting/ArticleWin.asp?From=Archive&Source=Page&Skin=pastissues2&BaseHref=TOIBG/2007/08/12&PageLabel=1&EntityId=Ar00100&ViewMode=HTML

The History of Engagement Rings

These days, many people take wedding bands and engagement rings for granted, and although they give these beautiful items of jewellery with integrity and love, they are often given with no real knowledge of the meaning behind them.
Both wedding bands and engagement rings are very special items of jewellery; in fact, they are more than just jewellery - they are the symbols of many emotions and promises such as:


But where - and why - did these popular and sentimental pieces of jewellery stem from?

The History Of Wedding Bands
These items of jewellery have a history that spans many centuries and passes through many countries from all around the planet. Below, you will find a brief history of the wedding and engagement ring, as reported from country to country.

The now-famous wedding band is thought to have originated in Ancient Egypt, where it is said that plant sections were fashioned in to circles to signify never-ending and immortal love. It was thought that the fourth finger (which we now know as the ring finger) contained a special vein that was connected directly to the heart, and therefore this became the official finger for the wedding band.

The Romans also agreed with the Egyptians with regards to the wedding ring finger and its meaning, but rather than offering wedding bands as a symbol of love, they awarded them as a symbol of ownership. Roman men would "claim" their woman with the giving of a ring

Puzzle rings were a complex type of jewellery that were once popular in Asia, and these jewels had the charming knack of being able to fall apart and put back together again - if you knew how to do this, of course. Wealthy Middle Eastern men then began to use these rings as wedding bands for their wives, who were often forced to wear a puzzle ring when their husband was away. The husband would know upon his return whether any of his wives had been disloyal by removing the ring whilst he was away, because the ring was designed to collapse upon removal and could only be put together again if you had the skill and knowledge required.

Several centuries ago, the Europeans became rather taken with what we would class as an engagement ring, but was then called a Poesy Ring. This ring was given to a loved one as a form of promise, and signified fidelity and love. The Poesy Ring was offered as a pledge of eternal togetherness, much as today's engagement rings are offered as a promise of eternal marriage.

During Colonial times, all items of jewellery in America were prohibited due to their apparent moral worthlessness. Instead, a more practical thimble was given as a token of love and as a pledge of eternal togetherness. However, after they were married, the women tended to remove the bottom of their "engagement thimble" to form a type of ring

History Of Engagement Rings
The engagement ring of today also has its own varied and interesting history, some of which is explored below. Engagement rings have been known by many different names, have symbolised a variety of different things and have not always been made of precious metals and stunning gems!

The ancient Greeks are thought to have been the forerunners in the rising of the traditional engagement ring. Given as a token of care and affection, the rings used by the Greeks were known as betrothal rings and were given before marriage. However, the giving of these rings was not always a pre-requisite to marriage and was often given in the same way as a friendship ring might be given today.

As seen by their use of the wedding ring, ancient Romans weren't the most sentimental of people, and the early version of their "engagement ring" were thought to have carved keys on them. It has been debated that this could have been to symbolise the woman's right to access and own half of everything following marriage. However, the more sentimental like to think that the key may have been a key to her husband's heart

Engagement rings as we know them today - stunning gems encased in precious metals - became popular in around the fourteenth or fifteenth century, when the affluent and the royals began to exchange and wear these jewels. However, these items were so expensive that nobody other than the royals and the rich could afford to exchange them. It was to be many centuries before these engagement rings would become more popular or traditional.

Why a ring?
The purpose of engagement rings and wedding bands is to convey deep emotions of eternal love, eternal happiness, eternal commitment, and eternal togetherness. In fact, these rings signify eternity - between the giver and the recipient. A ring, of course, is a complete circle with no break and no end or beginning, which means that it just goes on and on - it is eternal.
And, since folklore has it that the fourth finger of the left hand has a vein leading directly to the heart, it is only natural that both engagement and wedding rings would be worn on this particular finger, which was once reputed to be a direct route to the heart.

In short, it is clear that the giving of a ring in honour of a union, betrothal, and marriage has been going on since ancient times, and although it may not always have been as glamorous and romantic as it is today, it was still a way of exchanging a contract of betrothal or marriage.
Thankfully, today's wedding bands and engagement rings are not made of hair, grass, plants or twine as they may have been in ancient times, but of beautiful metals set with stunning gems, such as platinum, titanium, white gold, gold, sapphires, diamonds, rubies and emeralds. These incredible items of jewellery are likely to remain as popular as ever as the centuries go by, and even as the rest of the world advances in to a futuristic and technological age, it's hard to imagine a day where a beautiful diamond engagement ring doesn't melt the heart of its recipient..
You Want....?? 


The temple that houses a sleeping idol of Lord Vishnu is the richest temple in the world. Treasure worth
Rs 500,000 crore ($ 100,000,000,000) or 100 billiion dollars was recently found in secret chambers on temple
 land. Golden crowns, 17 kg of gold coins, 18 ft long golden necklace weighing 2.5 kg, gold ropes, sack full
of diamonds, thousands of pieces of antique jewellery, and golden vessels were some of the treasures
unearthed during the weekend.

Rs. 1 Crore =
Rs. 1,00,00,000 =
Rs. 10,000,000 =
Rs. 10 Million =
$ 200,000 (At very appx. Rs. 50 = $1)


 With an annual income of Rs 650 crores, Tirupathi Balaji is the second richest deity in India. The temple
has over 3000 kgs of gold deposited in different banks and Rs 1000 crore in fixed deposits. The temple
trust receives around Rs 300 crore, 350 kg of gold and 500 kg of silver as donations every year.

 The famous pilgrim center of Shri Saibaba temple in Shirdi, one of the richest temples in Maharashtra, has
 ornaments and jewellery worth over Rs. 32 crore and investments running into Rs. 450 crore according to
 official documents. The temple trust has gold worth Rs 24.41 crore, silver worth Rs 3.26 crore, silver coins
 worth Rs 6.12 lakh, gold coins worth Rs 1.288 crore and gold pendants worth Rs. 1.123 crore. Annual revenue
 of the trust is approximately Rs. 450 crore.

 The second most visited temple in the country after
Tirupathi Balaji, Vaishno Devi has
an annual income of Rs 500 crore.
Managed by the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board,
popularly called the Shrine Board,
the temple has a daily income of Rs 40 crore.
 Situated in the heart of Mumbai, the second
richest temple in the state of Maharastra
has an annual income of Rs 46 crore
and has Rs 125 crore in fixed deposits.
The temple known for its famous devotees
receives around
Rs 10-15 crores as donations
every year.
As per the financial records of Shree Siddhivinayak
Ganapati Temple Trust, the assets of the temple stood
at approximately Rs.140 crore for the year ended
March 2009.

source: http://www.funonthenet.in/forums/index.php?topic=211962.0

26 April 2012

Art Karat jewelry

Art Karat jewelry is made in the base metal silver with gold vermeil studded with precious and semi-precious authentic gemstones.
This is not pure gold jewellery but designs are attractive and looks like a gold jewellery with precious stones.

About Art karat group 
The Art Karat group of companies was founded by Kamal and Asha Modi in 1986 with a vision to create an alternate line of jewelry based on silver, with extraordinary designs and exceptional craftsmanship.
The company started as a small boutique in New Delhi, India employing just 2 craftsmen. It has grown rapidly in the last 20 years with more than 500 craftsmen at the company's workshops around India. The jewelry is sold out of exclusive stores in India and 150 exhibitions held annually in more than 70 cities worldwide.
The Art Karat Group has come a long way since 1986, it has expanded its operations across India, UK, Middle East and the USA, its product lines now include apparel for women designed by Ruchika Modi, gold and diamond jewelry by the name of Gold Karat, men's clothing under Art Karat Men and the recently launched media and event production house called Art Karat Entertainment.
The future seems bright and exciting for Art Karat. After successfully spreading its brand presence in the major metros of India through 15 exclusive stores, Art Karat will now open 5 more stores in tier two cities. The group will expand its operations to Canada in 2008 and also introduce its mail order catalog to UK & India this year.
source : company website http://www.artkarat.com/main/default.aspx

Here are some video of art karat jewellery

18 April 2012

Jewels of India A B TOC Exibition

India’s Leading Jewellery Retail Exhibition “ Jewels of India”, Bangalore.

Jewels of India, Bangalore is now a bench mark for jewellery b to C Exhibition in India. The reason for our success is many. We are known for our innovations and new ideas which keep the show’s freshness alive in the eyes of the consumers. Our Advertising Campaign is always the “Talk of the Town” starting one month prior to the show as we choose a popular celebrity as the Brand Ambassador who campaigns for the show. The Bangalore Media just loves to cover Jewels of India, the proof of which is the Press Conference which is always houseful. High Worth customers, numbering approx...40,000 nos. to whom we send exclusive invitations. Our invitations are high demand too. With experience, we have learnt the art of organizing Jewellery show well, going into the minutest detailing, so that the jewellers participate comfortably without any hassles and worries.

If you have not participated in Jewels of India, Bangalore then you have really missed something! Go ahead participate now in India’s Best Jewellery Retail Exhibition, “Jewels of India” Bangalore and reap the rewards of extra ordinary sales and winning over new customers.


Tradition of adoring oneself with jewelry is 5000 years old in India.

Indian women and jewelry have always formed a great combination.

The tradition is still alive and time has made it only more vigorous than earlier. The art of making beautiful ornaments, with delicacy and acumen, has been developed throughout the historical times. Rulers and feudal gave patronage to art and artists, to develop the same to optimum. There is jewelry for almost all the body parts, including neck, ear, nose, arms, ankles, fingers, waist, hair parting, etc. In India, jewelry is designed to match with the attire. The theme of its design as well as the color of the jewelry is taken into consideration while adoring. To make jewelry more attractive, it is topped by diamonds and various types of gems. Traditionally, Indian jewelry has been made of heavy and voluminous gold pieces, but recently jewelry made of silver, platinum and other metals has become quite popular among people. The popularity of jewelry made of stone, encrusted on metal, has grown more recently. In the following lines, we will tell you about the different kinds of jewelry in India. Antique Jewelry: The jewelry which is not in mainstream production and of which the mode of production is no longer popular is known by the name of 'Antique Jewelry.' This kind of jewelry has dull and rough look, combined with an old world-world charm, and this serves as the major USP of such jewelry. Bead Jewelry: Bead art in India is five thousand year old and dates back to the time of Indus Valley Civilization. People of that civilization used to make beads out of gold, silver, copper, clay, ivory and even wood. The excavated carried out there came out with finished and unfinished beads from the site. Bridal Jewelry: India has great tradition of wedding jewelry. Made of superior metals and excellent quality, jewelry accentuates the beauty of bride in multiples. Though these days silver and platinum jewelry is gaining popularity, gold jewelry still holds the most popularity among Indians. Custom Jewelry: Custom jewelry is personalized jewelry, which a customer gets her made on her interest and fancy. This happens particularly in cases where readymade jewelry does not match the taste of person. Custom jewelry gives total freedom to customer about the specifics. Fashion Jewelry: Fashion jewelry is also called costume jewelry, mainly for the reason that it is not made of precious metals and stones, rather lighter and cheaper material are used. Fashion jewelry is trend-conscious and keeps on changing as per changing needs. Filigree Jewelry: Filigree work is done on silver and involves lots of precision and technicality, added with great amount of patience and an eye for minute details. Historically, filigree work was quite popular in countries like Egypt, Italy, and Spain. India's history of filigree work goes back to early centuries. Gold Jewelry: Gold is a metal that lures many. It gives the security against any financial crisis, because of its easy liquidity, and is also used by women for adorning themselves. Traditionally, gold has been considered auspicious among Hindus and is regarded to be symbolic of Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth. Handmade jewelry: Talking about jewelry manufacturing in India is as good as talking about handmade jewelry in India. A major chunk of jewelry in the country is made by independent craftsmen. Traditionally also, a significant part of jewelry manufacturing has been handmade jewelry. Ivory Jewelry: Jewelry that is made from the tusk of an elephant is called ivory jewelry. Importance of ivory jewelry can be guessed from the fact that in Gujarat, the bride receives an ivory bangle from her family just before marriage as jewelry. During marriage ceremony wearing of ivory bangles is must for bride. Jadau Jewelry: Jadau Jewelry forms one of the major examples of high skilled craftsmanship that was brought into India by Mughals. Historically speaking, the tradition of Jadau work has been in practice in the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat since the Mughal era. Jadau jewellery is also called engraved jewelry. Kundan Jewelry: During Mughal period, the art of kundan work reached Rajasthan from Delhi. Later on, craftsmen from the different part of the country migrated to the place and made Rajasthan a hub of Kundankari. Rulers and feudal lords gave patronage to the art and it developed into perfection. Lac Jewelry: Lac jewelry, also known as lacquer jewelry, originated in Rajasthan and has gained considerable popularity in India today. Lac jewelry is available in versatile designs, which add to its beauty. Among the various items in lac jewelry, the bangles need a special mention. Meenakari Jewelry: In Meenakari jewelry, precious stones are set and then enameled with gold. Historically speaking, the art was introduced to Rajasthan artisans by Raja Mansingh of Amer. He invited Lahore-based skilled artisans to his kingdom, and their intermingling with the locals craftsmen resulted in an amalgam. Navratna Jewelry: In Navratna jewelry, nine auspicious stones are used in a single ornament. The belief behind this is that the nine stones together ensure well being of the person who wears it. In India, Navratna jewelry has been given major importance, because of its astrological significance as well as its innate charm. Pachchikam Jewelry: In the world of fashion and design, old trends tend to come over again and again, though with slight changes. Pachchikam jewelry making craft is one of the examples of jewelry that has come back once again. Originated in Gujarat and Kutch, centuries ago, Pachchikam jewelry has again become popular. Silver Jewelry: Silver Jewelry, along with gold jewelry, is quite popular amongst Indian women. Ornaments made of silver, such as rings, bracelets, chains, necklaces, nose rings, earrings, toe rings, heavy kadas, and armlets, form integral part of Indian jewelry. Stone Jewelry: Jewelry studded with different gems is quite popular among Indians. For reasons ranging from spiritual to aesthetic to health, gemstone jewelry has become the part of life of Indian women and men both. These stone jewelries are worn according to the individual's astrological chart and ruling of planet. Temple Jewelry: Indian jewelry art is at times divided into three kinds - temple jewelry, spiritual jewelry and bridal jewelry. Temple jewelry of India initially used to be described as the jewelry used to adorn the idols of Gods and Goddesses. The statues In India were ornamented with chunky necklaces. Tribal Jewelry: Tribal jewelry in India is quite rich. Each tribe has kept its unique style of jewelry intact even now. The original format of jewelry design has been preserved by ethnic tribal. Jewelry that is made of bone, wood, clay, shells and crude metal, by tribals, is not only attractive, but also holds a distinct rustic charm.

source: http://www.lifestyle.bizmax.in/default.aspx?ID=4

Jewellery training centre launched in Ahmedabad

The Indian Institute of Jewellery (IIJ), an autonomous jewellery training institute, on Monday launched its first centre in Gujarat here to turn out skilled workers for the gems and jewellery industry.

Mr Ajay Lalwani, CEO, IIJ, said the gems and jewellery industry in Gujarat is poised for further growth with plans afoot to open an SEZ for the sector. It would demand skilled and trained individuals to drive growth. IIJ aims to create a workforce equipped with the training required to build a career in this industry.

IIJ’s centre in Ahmedabad will cater to students with a minimum qualification of a Standard XII pass and keen on building a career in the gems and jewellery industry in India and globally.

According to a report by the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), the industry has the potential to employ about 8 million people by 2022 that includes the 4.6 million employed currently.

IIJ opened its first centre in Mumbai and another in Thane in 2011 to cater to the growing demand from individuals based out of Mumbai.

SOURCE :http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/article3320556.ece?homepage=true&ref=wl_home

Jewellery brand Gaja debuts in Ghaziabad

Gaja, the in-house retail brand of Kolkata-based Shree Ganesh Jewellery, has opened its first store in Ghaziabad. Spread over 750 sq.ft., the showroom stocks gold, fusion and diamond jewellery including rings, earrings, pendant sets, necklaces and bangles. Over 200 sets of kundan jadau, polki chakri, and light-weight jewellery collection 'Gaja Lites' will also be available in the store.

Speaking on the occasion, Nilesh Parekh, Chairman, Shree Ganesh Jewellery, said: “We foresee a lucrative market in Uttar Pradesh especially in the upcoming tier II cities such as Ghaziabad where the consumers are looking for exclusivity. We are glad to present Gaja to our customers here. Gaja jewellery designs are a mix of modernity and tradition and available at a reasonable price. We are expanding our retail presence at a great pace and hope to reach the target of 100 stores by end of FY’13. ”
Gaja is now present in Bangalore, Gurgaon, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Chandigarh, Amritsar and Ghaziabad. The company has recently entered into an alliance with Bharti Retail for shop-in-shop arrangements at its retail stores. According to the company officials, Gaja has a special collection called Gaja by Sabyasachi which is available only in Sabyasachi stores in Mumbai and Kolkata.

Shree Ganesh Jewellery House is a listed Rs 6, 000-crore turnover company. It also focusses on export market with buyers in Singapore, Middle East, and Hong Kong. The company, on a retail expansion mode across India, has marked its entry into Uttar Pradesh with the store at Ghaziabad.

India's post offices to sell discounted gold coins as festival nears

India's post offices to sell discounted gold coins as festival nears

With the post offices in India focussing on sales of low-end denominated gold coins, the yellow metal continues to gain acceptance in far-flung areas as an investment vehicle.

Author: Shivom Seth
Posted: Wednesday , 18 Apr 2012


India Post, the Indian government's postal department, is offering a 6% rebate on gold coins of various denominations for the forthcoming Akshaya Tritiya festival, which is one of the biggest gold buying festivals in the country. At present, gold coins are available at more than 800 post offices across India.

The rebate will ensure that even the most weary customer steps out to buy gold from the nearest post office. In 2010-11, gold coins worth 52 kilograms were sold at post offices across the country.

The word `Akshaya' means imperishable or eternal. Initiations made or valuables bought on this day are considered to bring success or good fortune. Buying gold is a popular activity on Akshaya Tritiya in India, as it is the ultimate symbol of wealth and prosperity.

For small investors, the post office is an attractive option. Small investors tend to buy gold coins from the post office since the department focusses on low-end denominations like 0.5 gram, 1 gram, 5 gram and 8 gram. Traders said high sales were a sign that the yellow metal was gaining acceptance as an ideal investment in the world's biggest gold consuming nation.

Several jewellery houses across the country are also advertising heavily to bring in wary customers, since most of them have kept away from the gold market given the high price of the yellow metal.

To celebrate the festival of prosperity and good fortune, Tanishq, India's largest jewellery brand, is to offer a free gold coin with every jewellery purchase. For purchase of diamond jewellery worth $3,882 (Rs 200,000) and above, customers can also avail themselves of a flat 10% discount.

Commenting on the season special, Sandeep Kulhalli, vice president, Tanishq said, ``Purchasing gold for Akshaya Tritiya is believed to bring about success and wealth. In sync with this joyous occasion, we have attractive discount offers that provide an opportunity to our customers to own exclusive Tanishq jewellery at better rates.''

This year, the festival is to commence on April 24. Buying gold is an important aspect of the festival. The postal service is offering the rebate on gold coins of various denominations of 0.5 gram, 8 gram, 10 gram, 20 gram and 50 gram of 24 carat with 99.99% purity.

India Post, in association with the World Gold Council and Reliance Money Infrastructure, began selling gold coins made by Switzerland's Valcambi way back in 2008. Around half a tonne of gold was sold to over 55,000 customers in the initial two years.

According to the statistics provided by the postal department, the sale of gold coins has turned out to be a popular investment tool amongst small villagers. The state of Gujarat ranks fifth, while sales in Tamil Nadu and Kerala in the south have always been the highest.

Jewellers maintained that 25% uptick in gold business was expected this Akshaya Tritiya. ``The consumer mood is upbeat despite the ruling high price. We expect sales to be 25% higher,'' said the All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation chairman Bachhraj Bamalwa.

He added that though jewellers add new stocks during the Akshaya Tritiya festival, ``this year we are not building any new inventory till the government takes some positive steps and rolls back the hike in excise duty and customs duty proposed in the budget.''

SOURCE: http://www.mineweb.com/mineweb/view/mineweb/en/page34?oid=149667&sn=Detail&pid=102055

The jewellery and watch retail market in India is worth Rs1,80,000 crore

Indian gold jewellers flaunt it in style, make it to the top league

The jewellery and watch retail market in India is worth Rs1,80,000 crore, of which the organised sector accounts for Rs76,800 crore, or about 42.5%.

The overall consumption of jewellery, including gold, is much higher at Rs2,78,000 crore and represents almost 6% of private consumption in India - with the difference between the consumption and the retail market size being accounted for by gold or custom-made jewellery not sold in retail outlets.

There are some 80 jewellery and watch retailers in the organised space, with 3,150 outlets. Players with a minimum of 10 outlets or minimum annual turnover of `50 crore are considered as “organised”.

The top 20, with 2,250+ outlets, account for `56,700 crore in sales, which translates into almost three-fourths of the organised sector market and almost one-third of the total pie.

The top two slots go to Kerala-based jewellers — Kozhikode-based Malabar Gold & Diamonds takes the lead, followed by Thrissur-based Kalyan Jewellers. The two major national players Titan-Tanishq, including Gold Plus, and Gitanjali Group come in at No. 3 and No. 4. Malabar Gold & Diamonds, Kalyan Jewellers and Titan-Tanishq rank among the Top 10 in the world, based on their sales.

Sample this. Malabar Gold & Diamonds is expected to have an estimated turnover of Rs8,800 crore in the just ended fiscal year from 44 outlets in India — it also has 20+ outlets in the Middle East. Kalyan Jewellers’ sales are estimated at Rs8,500 crore from 30 outlets across South India. It was recently in the news for buying an Embraer jet worth Rs30 crore.

Both are expanding rapidly. Malabar Gold & Diamonds, with its presence in South India and the Middle East, is pushing through its expansion plans in India and is readying a road map to open stores in South East Asia.

As many as 11 of the top 20 are based out of South India. However, it is surprising that most of the published research reports on this sector do not even recognise the existence of the South Indian jewellery retail giants — other than Titan — which have a combined turnover of more than Rs40,000 crore.

A global comparison shows per capita consumption of jewellery in India stands at Rs1,480, compared to Rs12,500 in the US, Rs10,700 (the EU), `4,850 (Hong Kong), Rs4,530 (Japan) and Rs1,825 (China). Retailing of jewellery & watches accounts for 7.2% of the total Indian retail market (including automobiles), whereas organised jewellery & watch retailing forms 19.5% of the total Indian organised retail market.

In 2011, the US jewellery retail market was estimated at $78.2 billion (Rs 401,000 crore), more than 2.2 times that of India. Walmart incidentally is also the largest jewellery retailer in the US, with estimated sales of about $2.9 billion (Rs 14,880 crore) last year. Signet Jewelers takes No. 2 position, with domestic sales of $2.74 billion (global sales $3.44 billion) from 1,300-odd stores. Zale Corporation is next, with 1160+ retail stores, 670+ kiosks and five online stores, and annual revenues of $1.74 billion, roughly the size of Malabar Gold & Diamonds.

The Chinese jewellery retail market was estimated at 300+ billion yuan (Rs 244,000+ crore) in 2011, 35% larger than India’s. It takes on a bit of shine because of the fact that China’s largest jewellery player, Chow Tai Fook, with 1,450+ points of sale across 320 cities in China and 60+ stores in Hong Kong, with sales of $4.5 billion (Rs 23,000 crore), is also the world’s largest jewellery retailer. Chow Tai Fook has a market cap value of `79,300 crore, 3.75 times that of Titan. The second-largest Chinese jewellery retailer Lao Feng Xiang notched up an estimated sales of $1.8 billion and No.3 Chow Sang Sang about $1.65 billion, which is less than that of Malabar Gold & Diamonds.

Tiffany & Co, with global sales of $3.6 billion, is the second-largest jewellery retailer in the world. Only half of its sales are in the US, where it is the fifth-largest retailer.

Japan in this context doesn’t really measure up as the jewellery retail market, at ¥910 billion (Rs 57,700 crore) in 2010, is less than a third of India’s. It has shrunk almost 70% in the last 20 years, marking the decline of Japan as a major economy. The top two retailers As-me Estelle, with sales of ¥27.07 billion (Rs1,717 crores) and Kuwayama, with sales of ¥25.06 billion (Rs1,588 crores), would not even make it to India’s Top 10 in terms of sales.

SOURCE: http://www.dnaindia.com/money/column_indian-gold-jewellers-flaunt-it-in-style-make-it-to-the-top-league_1677308

Tribhovandas sets price band for 200 cr IPO

ewellery retailer Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri Ltd set a price band of Rs 120-126 a share for its up to initial public offering. The issue size at the upper end of the price band works out to about Rs 210 crore.

Subscriptions to the 16.66-million-share issue will begin on April 24 and close on April 26, the company said in a newspaper advertisement on Wednesday.

A stock market rebound has boosted the outlook for share sales in India this year, with the recent offering from MCX receiving strong demand from investors.

IDFC Capital and Avendus are the lead bookrunners for Tribhovandas' share issue.

Tribhovandas has 14 showrooms across India, according to its website. It competes with jewellery retailers such as Gitanjali Gems, Titan Industries and Thangamayil Jewellery.

SOURCE: http://business-standard.com/india/news/tribhovandas-sets-price-band-for-200-cr-ipo/163201/on

13 April 2012



Joyalukkas Jewellery has been catering to the jewellery needs of the people of Kerala for more than 50 years. Established in 1956, the company now has a presence in nine countries - India, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and Singapore - with 85 showrooms, 29 of them spread all over India.

A new outlet in Oman was opened just two weeks ago while more are in the pipeline in India.

It is now Singapore's turn to have its own Joyalukkas Jewellery store: On April 19, the doors to its showroom at 412 Serangoon Road will be opened by the company's chairman Joy Alukkas in the company of south Indian film star Madhavan.

Sprawling over approximately 6,000 sq ft, the store will offer a wide variety of gold ornaments like earrings, necklaces, bangles and bridal sets. There will also be extensive diamond and pearl collections, as well as precious stones, for customers who want a wider choice.

And, in keeping with the Joyalukkas mantra of exemplary service, there will be close to 25 employees in the store to ensure that customers are attended to immediately and in a manner they desire.

The manager of the Singapore outlet Francy P.V. told tabla!: "The Joyalukkas business model is all about quality of products and the service. We value our customers and ensure they are given the best service possible. In fact, we make sure we have adequate staff members who are well trained to give the customer a great shopping experience."

When asked about the company's decision to stand apart from the bustling Serangoon Road stretch of jewellers and goldsmiths closer to Tekka Market, Mr Francy said they picked the location - it is next to City Square Mall - because it is accessible by both public and private transport.

In addition, the store has a few parking spots in the building reserved for its customers on a first-come first-served basis.

The news that Joyalukkas is setting up shop here has already filtered through to some parts of the Indian community in Singapore. And one of those who is excited at the prospect of spending time - and money - there is my wife Suman.

Having grown up in Kerala, she is very familiar with the brand which has many Alukkas stores in the south Indian state. She says: "Joyalukkas opening an outlet here in Singapore gives me access to the traditional designs typical to Kerala as well as contemporary designs that suit any occasion. I don't have to wait for my trips to India to add to my jewellery collection."

As for Mr Francy, he is looking forward to welcoming customers like Suman. After all, he says the Singapore store is meant to cater to the large Indian community now established in Singapore as well as the region.

MORE: The flagship company of Joy Alukkas Group, Joy alukkas jewellery touches the lives of over 10 million customers across 6 countries through its 40 outlets. Joy alukkas was the first ever jeweller to receive the ISO 9001 and 14001 certification. Joy alukkas is now the world’s #1 22-karat jewellery. Joy alukkas showcases over 100,000 designs for each of the 100,000 expressions of women. In addition to in-house, international and DTC brands in gold and diamond jewellery, Joy alukkas also offers an extensive collection in platinum and precious stones jewellery. Joy alukkas is widening its horizon to make a foray into countries far and wide. Our customers in Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, London and Singapore will soon have the pleasure of shopping at Joy alukkas in their home cities as we are opening new showrooms in these locations in the near future.
SOURCE: http://www.asiaone.com/News/Latest%2BNews/Singapore/Story/A1Story20120413-339483.html

WEBSITE: http://www.joyalukkas.com/

01 April 2012

Soon, buy jewellery for Rs 2 lakh or more on cash without PAN card Business Line

By Shishir Sinha

New Delhi, March 27:

if you plan to buy bullion and jewellery worth Rs 2 lakh or more in cash and do not have a PAN card, you need not worry. The Income-Tax Department has a solution for it.

In a population of over 121 crore, only 12.10 crore held PAN cards as on March 31, 2011.

According to a new proposal in Budget 2012-13, “The seller of bullion and jewellery shall collect tax at the rate of one per cent of sale consideration from every buyer of bullion and jewellery if the sale consideration exceeds Rs 2 lakh and the sale is in cash.”

This would be irrespective of whether the buyer is a manufacturer, trader or the purchase is for personal use, it added.

One interpretation of this proposal is that cash transaction of Rs 2 lakh or more will not be possible if the buyer does not have a PAN card. Since it is the responsibility of the seller to collect tax and deposit it with the authority, he is also supposed to submit detailed information about the buyer, including his PAN.

Now, the Income-Tax Department plans to bring out a detailed circular explaining how to carry out a cash deal worth Rs 2 lakh or more even without PAN.

“A person without PAN will be required to approach the assessment officer of a particular ward in the Tax Department with Form 13. This form will require details about his income during the last three years.”

The Department, if satisfied, will issue a Nil Deduction Certificate. The whole process is likely to be completed within 15 days, after which the person can take this certificate to the jeweller, and tax will not be collected there, the official added. The official clarified that apart from cheques, tax will not be collected if payment is made through credit cards. The new mechanism will not cover schemes like ‘Pay just 10-11 EMIs and buy jewellery worth 12 EMIs,' which will be treated as sales incentives.

The new mechanism has been designed mainly to curb black money, which is why the limit has been kept at Rs 2 lakh.

“Most of the black money is routed through gold bars. A normal bar weighs 100 gram or more, and as per the current trend, its price could be Rs 2.70-2.8 lakh. This justifies the limit,” he added.

No roll-back of import duty

Despite hectic lobbying and the country-wide strike by bullion traders, the Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, has ruled out rolling back import duty hike on standard gold bars and platinum bars.

However, he was open to considering a compromise formulae regarding excise duty on unbranded gold jewellery and requirement of PAN for buying bullion and jewellery worth Rs 2 lakh and more on cash. He said he would also examine whether levying of import and excise duties could be postponed till finalisation of a compromise formula.

Meanwhile, a highly placed source said that under the compromise formula, excise duty on unbranded gold jewellery could be only on 25 per cent of the transaction value against the proposed 30 per cent.

Similarly, small-scale exemption could be raised from the proposed Rs 4 crore to Rs 6 crore turnover in the previous year. If this happens, no excise duty will need to be paid.


(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 28, 2012)

Source: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/todays-paper/article3252125.ece

Pranab to rethink excise on unbranded jewellery - Business Line

As the countrywide strike by jewellers entered the 12th day, the Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, promised to reconsider the Budget proposal of bringing unbranded jewellery in the excise duty net, and the PAN card issue. He, however, declined to indicate the modality for the reliefs.

There is no attempt to bring back ‘inspector raj', Mr Mukherjee told the Rajya Sabha, in his reply to the debate on Budget 2012-13.

Mr Mukherjee also announced a higher turnover limit of Rs 5 crore for getting the small-scale exemption benefits for excise duty purposes. Currently, this exemption is available to any manufacturer whose annual turnover in the previous year did not exceed Rs 4 crore. Full exemption from duty is available to such manufacturers for an annual turnover of Rs 1.5 crore in the current year.

For issues such as PAN card, one would have to wait for the third stage of the Budget passage when the Finance Bill proposals are debated in both Houses of Parliament, Mr Mukherjee said.

The enhanced small-scale exemption limit is likely to allay the concerns of artisans and goldsmiths who manufacture and sell jewellery themselves. The small-scale exemption benefits can be availed on the basis of a self-declaration.

Most jewellers get jewellery manufactured from small artisans and goldsmiths on a ‘job work' basis. Artisans or goldsmiths who manufacture jewellery for others need not register with the Excise Department.

To keep small artisans and goldsmiths outside the purview of the excise impost, Budget 2012-13 has provided that for small-scale exemption, the aggregate value of clearances would be computed on the basis of tariff value – 30 per cent of the transaction value.

Mr Mukherjee, however, reiterated that there will be no rollback of the import duty hike on gold. He pointed out that India imported gold worth $46 billion during April-November.

“Reduction of import duty on gold is not possible. Other aspects can be looked into,” Mr Mukherjee added.

sourcde: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/government-and-policy/article3254812.ece

Strike will continue till excise levy is lifted, say jewellers - Business Line

Jewellers said their countrywide strike will continue till the levies on unbranded jewellery are lifted.

They have been on strike since March 17. The strike was scheduled to go on till March 31 in the hope that the memoranda submitted to various State governments, Commissioners of Excise, MPs and MLAs would yield results. As nothing came of this, the strike has now been declared an “indefinite” one.

The jewellers on strike account for 80 per cent of jewellery sales in India.

The strike has the backing of about 600 retail and wholesale jewellery associations representing 3 lakh units across the country, said Mr Vinod I. Vadala, President, Mumbai Wholesale Gold Jewellers Association (MWGJA).

“After massive protests across the country, it was expected that the Finance Minister would completely roll back levy of excise on all unbranded jewellery. We have been forced to resort to an indefinite strike,” he said.

Though there are indications that the Finance Minister will roll back the duty, the associations have decided to continue the strike till a firm decision is announced.

On Wednesday, Parliament gave its first stage of approval to the Union Budget after the Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, assured the Rajya Sabha that he would reconsider the proposal to tax unbranded jewellery in the wake of the countrywide demand for its rollback.

He, however, stood firm on the Customs duty hike on gold imports.

The excise levy has caused a serious setback to jewellers who have already seen sales volumes dwindle due to rising gold prices, said Mr Nimesh S. Rathod, Secretary, Mumbai Wholesale Gold Jewellers Association.

“We are disappointed with the Finance Minister's statement of finding an alternative to the levy rather an assurance on rollback of levy. We are not going to call off this strike till removal of the levy,” said Mr Vadala.

Over 800 protest rallies have been held by various jewellery organisations across the country to remove excise duty on both branded and unbranded jewellery, to remove tax deduction on all cash transaction of Rs 2 lakh and above and customs duty on gold imports.


Losing sheen Sellers of unbranded gold jewellery account for 80% of sales The strike has the backing of 600 retail, wholesale jewellery associations The strike to continue till the Govt comes out with a formal announcement on the roll back

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 31, 2012)

source: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/todays-paper/article3263829.ece

Gold imports halve on high prices, lower demand, strike - Business line

Suresh P. Iyengar
Mumbai, March 31:

Imports shrink to 95 tonnes in Jan-March

High prices and slowing demand have halved gold imports into the country.

Imports of the yellow metal shrank to 95 tonnes in the January-March 2012 period against 283 tonnes in the same period last year, according to preliminary industry data.

The ongoing strike against the Budget proposal to levy excise duty and unbranded jewellery and hike import on gold has depressed imports to 20-25 tonnes in March.

The country imported 30 tonnes of gold in February and 40 tonnes in January.

Mr Prithivraj Kothari, President, Bombay Bullion Association, said the jewellery trade is already burdened by huge inventory due to the ongoing strike by jewellers.

The strike has been going on since March 17.

“Gold imports in the March quarter have more than halved compared with 283 tonnes in the same period last year. Overall, imports in 2012 will be close to 450 tonnes,” he said.

India imported 969 tonnes of gold last year, according to the World Gold Council.


Mr Mehul Choksi, Chairman and Managing Director, Gitanjali Gems, said “The industry has already lost Rs 15,000-20,000 crore due to the strike. It needs the Government's immediate attention,” he said.

On the proposed increase in the Customs duty, Mr Choksi said the Government itself will be a big loser as a lot of gold will now start coming in through unofficial channels.

Mr Puran Doshi, Committee Member, Mumbai Wholesale Gold Jewellers Association, said, “We are not averse to paying duties. They can even increase the Customs duty from the proposed four per cent to five per cent, but we do not want the Government to thrust Excise Department on us,” he added.


Lending its support to the strike, the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council stopped work in Mumbai and Surat on Friday and Saturday.

Mr Rajiv Jain, Chairman, GJEPC, said it is unfortunate that the industry had to down shutters when the global markets are just recovering after the slowdown.


Losing ground Gold imports were around 20-25 tonnes in March, compared with 30 tonnes in February and 40 tonnes in January Imports in 2012 will be close to 450 tonnes compared with 969 tonnes last year Industry has lost Rs 15,000-20,000 crore due to the ongoing strike

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated April 1, 2012)

source: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/todays-paper/article3267119.ece

Sriprakash Jaiswal opposes govt on jewellery duty hike

March 26, 2012 , Zeebiz Bureau,

New Delhi: In what could be a big embarrassment to the UPA government, senior Congress leader and Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal has slammed that the excise duty hike announced by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on jewellery in this year’s Union Budget.

Reports, Monday, claimed that Jaiswal made these remarks while attending a meeting in Kanpur where he expressed solidarity with the jewelers opposing the excise duty hike.

Reacting to the move, the Coal Minister even compared some government departments to mosquitoes that suck their blood.

"For only Rs 100 crore of revenue I realise how much you will have to go through. Like mosquitoes in the night, in our country there are some departments that also suck blood," he was quoted as saying.

However he later denied making any obvious reference to the Finance Ministry. Clarifying his stand over the issue Jaiswal said, "I still stand by what I said. I have said nothing against Finance Ministry. I was only referring to the mismanagement and the wrong doings in several government departments".

He made this remarks following a meeting with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

Bullion and jewellery markets have strongly opposed the imposition of excise duty on unbranded jewellery and doubling of import duty on gold. Many jewellery shops have remained closed in various cities in protest.

Importantly, the All India Sarafa Association has also approached the Congress president and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi seeking her intervention in the matter.

Traders are protesting against the budget proposal imposing excise duty of 1% on unbranded precious jewellery and doubling of customs duty on standard gold bars and coins to 4%.

In a week after the Union Budget was tabled, sources claimed that the bullion and jewellery industry incurred a loss of over Rs 10,000 crore, including Rs 750 crore on the auspicious day of 'Gudi Padwa" in Mumbai alone.

Retail jewellers brought under the excise net by the recent budget proposal were more worried and requested shifting of duty to another form.

Traders have warned that imposition of higher levies may lead to a rise in retail gold prices by over 6% in the country, which is seeking to rein in a widening current account-deficit partly fuelled by record purchases in 2011.

All India Bullion and Jewellers' Association said the proposed excise duty on jewellery would affect the business and needs elaborate book-keeping which could be a cumbersome process for jewellers.

First Published: Monday, March 26, 2012, 10:43

source: http://zeenews.india.com/business/news/economy/jaiswal-opposes-govt-on-jewellery-duty-hike_44584.html

GJEPC expresses dismay at imposition of 1% excise on jewellery

March 28, 2012

In a ‘survival or a rather politically safe’ budget, the FM had announced one-sided measures to control the FOREX reserves of the country by making gold & silver dearer for the consumer. It has been mentioned that one of the primary drivers of the current account deficit has been suspected to be the imports of gold and other precious metals in the first three quarters of this year. With the objective of checking this trend for better results, additional duties were announced and some of them have been doubled with the objective of limiting the imports of gold & silver. This has put the entire jewellery industry of India and the 3.5 million people, it directly employs, under great uncertainty for their future vis a vis such policy adopted.
Introduction of levy of excise duty of 1% on gold jewellery not bearing a brand name, along with existing 1% on branded precious
metal jewellery GJEPC earlier had already advised the Government that imposition of such excise would be disastrous for the entire Jewellery Industry of India including exports, as Excise is an ambiguous regulatory prerequisite for the Indian jewelers, which is difficult for mid-sized and small jewelers to comply and compete with.
Due to this th e Indian jewellery industry is certainly not averse to contributing i n revenue to the Government of India in any other form, but excise. The industry believes that there is already a steep rise in import Duty of Gold from around 1% in end 2011 to 4%, which
though uncalled for and already criticized by GJEPC earlier, has already taxed the industry by four times. With the financial year drawing to a close, such announcement of excise has also seen the exports of gold jewellery from domestic tariff area (DTA) to suffer drastically and create immense hardships for the jewellery exporters and those who also manufacture and trade domestically. GJEPC has actively engaged with the government to bring clarity to application of such excise ru les announced, which is not at all clear.After the budget was announced on 16th March, the GJEPC office bearers has met various govt officials including the Tax Research Unit of the Finance Department and the Commerce Secretary and are thankful for the time given and sympathetic approach taken by them on the issue and is confident of finding an amicable solution.
Commenting on the current state of affairs, Rajiv Jain, Chairman, GJEPC said, ” The roll back of Excise Duty on Jewellery is the demand of the day put across by all Jewellers in the Country. We are aware that Jewellers from each and every state of India have held protests and approached the local govt. to convey the same to the Ministry of Finance. It’s our apprehension as an industry that imposition of excise may lead to unscrupulous state of affairs and and increase of import duty on Gold from 1%-4% increased probabilities of trafficking of
gold into the country through illegal channels. We feel that introduction of excise is not necessary at this point of time as it was announced at the Union Budget by the Hon’ble Finance Minister that GST will be introduced in August 2012 and such excise duty imposed can be merged with the GST. “
The GJEPC is equally distressed as other stakeholders of the industry for such a harsh bu dget for the industry and supports GJF and all other associations across the Nation in their demand to roll back the announcement of excise on jewellery at Union Budget 2012.
GJEPC strongly urges and appeals to the government to remove tax related strangleholds that are preventing the industry from growing at a healthy and desired pace.

source: http://www.jewelryne.ws/indias-gjepc-expresses-dismay-at-imposition-of-1-excise-on-jewellery/

Jewellery tax may be rolled back -http://www.mydigitalfc.com

Jewellery tax may be rolled back

By KR Sudhaman Mar 27 2012 , New Delhi

Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday hinted at rollback of the one per cent hike in excise duty on unbranded jewellery imposed in the Union budget for 2012-13 in the face of nation-wide protest by goldsmiths.

However, Mukherjee ruled out withdrawal of the 2 per cent hike in import duty on gold and platinum, which was imposed to curb import of unusually large quantities of the yellow metal, contributing substantially to the burgeoning current account deficit at 3.6 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP).

Winding up the general discussion on budget in Lok Sabha, the finance minister said he would also reconsider the proposal to make the use of PAN card mandatory for purchase of jewellery worth over Rs 2,00,000.

“I understand the plight of small jewellers... I am considering it. During the period that will be available from now and (the passage of) the Finance Bill, I will come out with an acceptable formulation,” Mukherjee said.

Not impressed by the assurance, Gems and Jewellery Traders’ Federation chairman Bacchraj Bamalwa said the jewellers would intensify their strike and continue it till the excise duty on unbranded jewellery and gold items is withdrawn completely.

The traders have been on strike since March 17. “The finance minister said he would consider it. But he also talked about an alternate formula. We will have to wait and see what the government comes up with,” Bamalwa said.

In the Union budget, the finance minister had proposed to levy one per cent excise duty on unbranded jewellery on par with branded jewellery.

On the demand for rollback of import duty on gold, which was raised to 4 per cent from 2 per cent, Mukherjee said: “I know it (gold) is part of our culture” but the import of the ‘dead asset’ results in wastage of the country’s precious foreign exchange.

India imported gold worth $46 billion 2011-12, up from $33 billion in the previous year.

Mukherjee did not agree with former finance minister Yashwant Sinha’s contention that the budget proposals would deepen the vicious circle of inflation, widen fiscal deficit and lead to a drop in investment and growth.

Mukherjee said he made attempts to push investments in infrastructure and took drastic measures to cut subsidies, apart from unveiling a roadmap for fiscal consolidation and to move into a higher growth path.

He made it clear that there was no room for fiscal profligacy and all attempts would be made to keep deficit at the budgeted level of 5.1 per cent of GDP, while subsidies would be capped at 2 per cent of GDP. “The deficit target is pragmatic and conservative and contained no hidden figures,” Mukherjee said.

He attributed the difficult economic situation to the global crisis, particularly the euro zone situation, and said that’s why the budget strived to push domestic demand in order to drive growth. India’s exports have done reasonably well despite the euro zone crisis and the slowdown in the US because of diversification of markets with Asean and East Asia, which now account for 60 per cent of total exports.

To Sinha’s claim that the NDA government had reined in inflation better, Mukherjee said during that five-year period, global crude oil prices ranged $12-32. In 2011-12, it had averaged around $115.

“With 80 per cent of the country’s oil requirement and most of the fertiliser requirements, other than urea, being import, this issue needed to be addressed collectively,” he said.

On the demand by states for the continuation of central sales tax, Mukherjee said he had an ‘open mind’ and that he had no intention to alter the federal structure. He appealed to the opposition parties and states to cooperate in the early implementation of the Goods and Services Tax.

source: http://www.mydigitalfc.com/economy/jewellery-tax-may-be-rolled-back-179

Excise Duty Issues With Union Budget 2011 -GJF

The Union Budget 2011 has imposed an Excise Duty of 1% on jewellery and articles make of gold and/ or precious metals.

GJF has taken up the issue with concerned departments and ministries in New Delhi immediately. A 12-member GJF delegation met with the authorities on 4th and 5th March 2011.

We have been informed that the earlier circular dated 29th December 2005 and march 2005 are still valid until expressly rescinded by the Union Government. Therefore same is valid currently.

The officials also have stated that no officers/ departments are to collect excise duty from bonafide non-branded jewellers. If any unwarranted action or visits are undertaken by any departments in the country in order to collect in in appropriate manner where duty is demanded from unbranded jewellers/ products please report same to GJF office "info@gjf.in" or to the Mumbai address so GJF can inform the concerned authorities in New Delhi.

We also enclose the circular of 29th December 2005 for your records which you can show to any officers if required which is still valid.

However each jewellery establishment needs to take legal opinion where necessary and act accordingly as bonafide brands need to apply excise duty.

Hope this helps.

Some FAQ's:

  • Coins : coins with brand name will attract duty. Bullion and bars do not attract duty.
  • Names other than firm/ company marked with a name will attract duty.
  • Unmarked jewellery : no duty.
  • Duty is paid by manufacturer if he sells branded jewellery. With declaration letter from manufacturer retailer need not pay second time.
  • Retailer or manufacturer may for branded jewellery pay at their option.

SOURCE: http://gjf.in/gjf/newsmedia;jsessionid=964014445878F1B89EED3997E4D3978C

Some video in support strike agains gold excise duty

photos in support strike for remove excise duty on gold ornaments

photos in support strike for remove excise duty on gold ornaments

sources: from different websites and new sites newspapers etc.

Gujarat jewellers lose R 15,000 cr biz due to strike

Ahmedabad: The jewelers of Gujarat are estimated to have lost business worth Rs 15,000 crore because of the nationwide strike by jewellers against the hike in custom and excise duties on gold proposed in the Union budget. The strike which began on Saturday was only partially over on Wednesday. Now, except the bullion association and jewellers of Ahmedabad, all other jewellers of Gujarat have decided to further extend the strike till Sunday.

“If you include the earnings of people employed in the jeweller trade on daily wages, the business of wholesale traders and the orders from retail jewellers, jewellers of Gujarat lost business worth of Rs 15,000 crore because of the strike,” said Shanti Patel, president of Gem & Jewellery Trade Council of India (GJTCI).

He further said that the size of business lost could have been higher if it was not the end of the financial year. “Further, if the marriage season or any festive season had also come at this period, our losses would have been higher than what we have suffered in the last five days,” Patel said.

Around 5 lakh retail jewellers in the country had gone on strike from Saturday. In Gujarat, more than 5,000 jewellers, including around 1,000 in Ahmedabad, had also remained close.

The nationwide strike is over but jewelers in the state outside Ahmedabad have decided to extend it till Sunday. "The Ahmedabad Choksi Mahajan Association, the bullion market of Ahmedabad, has decided to open shutters on Thursday. We don't intend to continue the strike any longer as we have already suffered huge losses due to missed business," said Harshvadan Dhaya Choksi, president of association. Shanti Patel said GJTCI had come to know that jewellers in Saurashtra region and the the southern part of the state including Vadodara and Surat, have decided to extend the strike. "But jewellers in Ahmedabad will open their shops on Thursday," he said. Jewellers in Saurashtra will continue the strike till Sunday, said Bhayabhai Saholiya, president of Rajkot Gold Dealers Association. "The association of Vadodara and Surat has also joined us," he said. In Rajkot, on Wednesday morning, a few branded jewellers had opened their stores but later closed them.

On Friday, the Union finance minister had proposed a hike in basic customs duty on standard gold bars; gold coins and platinum. In sync with these, basic duty on gold ore, concentrate and dore bars for refining have also been enhanced.
ource: http://daily.bhaskar.com/article/GUJ-AHD-gujarat-jewellers-lose-rs-15000-cr-biz-due-to-strike-3002847.html

A war on gold? Whose interest will it serve anyway?

Existing gold investors to gain from duty hike-By CHIRAG MEHTA, QUANTUM MUTUAL FUND
The further hike in import duty by the finance minister will surely have an adverse effect on the development of gold market in India. The customs duty has been increased to 4 per cent (from 2 per cent prevailing previously) which is actually double of the previous levy and comes after nearly an equal hike that took place in January earlier this year. The duty increases have been on a spree since July 2009 when the reform process for gold markets was reversed. The duty increases currently total to a whopping increase of more than 10 times.

Will this serve the purpose?

Most probably not! It is doubtful whether these steps would have much impact on the buying behavior beyond the short term. The price sensitive Indian consumer may refrain from buying in the short term since there is a sentiment impact of a sudden increase in price owing to the duty added to already prevailing high prices.

Prices have been trending upwards over the past few years. However, even significant price rises over the past few years have not dithered consumers from purchasing more gold. Rather, there has been record consumption despite these price hikes. And hence a 2% increase in duty may not have much impact on consumption patterns.

The real story

Even in the past, policymakers have tried to discourage gold consumption but India’s affinity towards gold still holds strong. There have been a variety of measures adopted towards restricting gold consumption, right since our Independence. However, all these measure have met with little success. Thus, it is strange that the government should avoid addressing the underlying issues that drive gold consumption, and rather attempt to dissuade development of gold market in India in totality. The duty increases would probably help fill government coffers, but it’s unlikely that it would have any other significant impact on the demand of gold.

The side-effects

Going back to times when customs duty was significantly high, a major portion of gold consumed used to come by way of smuggled imports. There has been a continuous increase in duties during the last 3 years but it is still low as compared to what used to prevail when a large portion of gold requirement was obtained through unofficial channels.

Will the 5.3% incremental payment towards duties and taxes make history repeat itself? We don’t know as yet.

What the government should do ideally

Policymakers need to understand the reasons that drive people to gold. The most obvious is lack of banking / financing innovation / facilities in the rural areas where the major consumption happens. In these areas, it is gold that provides the needed liquidity. Also, inflation in India has been on a higher side often driving real interest rates in a negative territory. Owing to these reasons Indians have stayed loyal to their gold consumption habit.

Government should ideally work on measures such as promoting financial inclusion and understanding the financial needs and requirements of the rural masses, providing for social net that helps reduce uncertainty and aim at keeping inflation under control. Confidence through such measures can alter the saving habits and policymakers should ideally work towards that rather than move towards discouraging consumption.

Impact on investors

Existing gold investors will benefit from the hike in import duty as the value of the gold owned by them has increased by approximately 2% (other things being equal). On the other hand, prospective investors who wish to buy gold will probably have to purchase it at a higher rate (to the extent of increase in the duty).

Is the rise justified? Let's start with understanding why the customs came into existence.

In the past, India was a self-sufficient, inward looking economy that stayed focused on reducing imports and avoided excessive foreign exchange. In 1962, the Customs Act was established to protect local industries and prevent illegal trade of goods.

Over the years however, the Indian government decided to open its economy to foreign business and liberalisation reforms helped free the gold market through unrestricted movement of currency.

The trades were carried out smoothly until recently when the reforms were reversed and gold customs duty was increased. Ironically, India has been producing almost negligible quantities of gold in comparison to its consumption and hence there was no real need for such a duty to be levied, especially not by claiming protection for domestic industries.

The previous Indian Budgets too saw a reduction in customs duty. And then what happened to the dream to make India the gold-trading capital of the world?

India has every reason to become a dominant player in the gold market because of its immense consumption power; individuals are holding huge gold stock reserves, and the exchanges and products required for the development of the gold market are already in place. However, instead of being a country that should be setting the price, we have been categorized as price takers.The dream of making India the gold-trading capital has been sacrificed because the government is currently focused on filling its deficit ridden coffers with the revenue it will earn from the customs duty. To earn custom duty, the government is burdening consumers who are already reeling under the pressure of rising prices. It seems the government has conveniently forgotten the main intention behind the introduction of such reforms, which was to make India the gold-trading capital of the world.

Government policies play a big role in making or breaking the market, and hence the finance ministry should not be swayed by the short-term gains of the custom duty. Instead, they should pay attention to the overall development of the gold markets in India.

By introducing gold ETFs in 2005-2006, the then finance minister had taken a step forward and enabled investors to purchase gold in a more efficient manner. The government should introduce more features such as these to strengthen the gold market. Alas, the government for now has sacrificed our interest seen in the big picture and heeded advice of the naysayers of gold by increasing the levy. That’s become the norm for now.

source: http://www.moneyguruindia.com/article.php?cid=3318&id=6