Environment… While one treat it as a home and take care of it, others use it as a never ending source of natural minerals. There is a conflict between them that can’t be easily solved. It’s a known fact that diamond mining has a devastating effect on nature. Naturally, people started to search for blander ways of getting diamonds – to grow them in the laboratories. These diamonds got the names of “synthetic diamonds”, “man-made diamonds”, “cultured” or “laboratory grown diamonds”. One would think the last could solve the situation. They could but not when import duty levy on them is very high. The impact of the last is described below:
Lab grown diamond manufacturers have urged the government not to segregate lab-grown diamonds (man-made or synthetic) from natural diamond for customs duty levy, as such treatment would hurt the growth of this budding industry which provides employment of thousand of artisans.
Informed sources said that the industry body the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) has recommended the government to levy 10 per cent and 5 per cent of import duty on lab-grown polished and rough diamonds respectively, a clear cut distinction from the natural diamond.
According to reports, Finance Ministry is considering these recommendations favourably. Additionally, the ministry may also abolish 2 per cent import duty on polished coloured gemstones to make processing industry competitive in global markets.
“The proposed import levy will prove a deterrent for the growth of Lab grown diamond industry. “India is a vital hub for cutting and polishing of lab grown diamonds which promotes a number of downstream industry verticals such as specialized cutters and polishers; and end users (industrial, technical and retail sectors) of the finished grown diamonds. These verticals have flourished in the US, China, Japan, Taiwan and the European Union. As lab-grown diamond supply increases, companies like us have taken the first step in promoting and sustaining specialized cutters and polishers in India for various sectors and exclusively exporting the same across the globe. This has created steady employment for close to a decade, generated foreign exchange and will continue to be a growth industry,” a senior official of Ila Technologies, a Singapore based lab grown diamond manufacturer and supplier. Discarding the possibility of being a treat to natural diamond, the official said that lab grown diamonds (polished) sales revenue were just 0.3 per cent of polished diamonds sales revenue last year. Hence, levying any duty will not yield any significant revenue to the government but, will hit the industry very badly, the official added.
This information is taken from http://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/import-duty-levy-to-hit-synthetic-diamond-industry-hard-114070700731_1.html