Surat Diamond traders claim huge decline in business due to GST

As per diamond merchants, the government has imposed 5 per cent GST on labour work, which affects 'hira karigars' the most

Prime News, Nation, (Surat), April 10:-Diamond merchants from the city are claiming to be bearing the brunt of GST, even after more than a year of its implementation.

Traders say they are facing a huge problem in business due to the implementation of GST and are now opposing the government for bringing the taxation scheme.

Surat is a hub of loose diamond business and Mini Bazar is one area where a large number of traders do their business in the open.

Speaking to media persons, businessman Rajesh Moradiya said, “Our business is a business of fashion. Business has come down to half after GST. There is no money in the market. The number of buyers has decreased as they are shopping as per their priorities. We hope it will settle soon”.

As per diamond merchants, the government has imposed 5 per cent GST on labour work, which affects ‘hira karigars’ the most.

Vikram, a labourer, said, “Business has flopped because of GST. There is no work in the market. We face so many problems”.

Dayabhai, another trader at Mini Bazar said in Gujarati, “GST has flopped our business, we have no work left. We have come on the road. Profit has become nil”.

However, despite opposition by many diamond traders, experts are supporting the tax and are of the view that it has brought in transparency in the market.

An expert said “Those who don’t work legally are facing problems. Traders who are maintaining a transparent account are earning good profit. But the genuine problem is 5 per cent GST on labour which has no reverse mechanism.”

“Also banks have decided to pull back from financing the diamond trade and have asked traders to return 30 per cent of money after Nirav Modi’s fraud claims”, said Dinesh Navadiya, Regional Chairman, gems and jewellery export council.

The GST was implemented all over the country, except in Jammu and Kashmir, on July 1, 2017. Believed to be the biggest economic reform since independence, the GST was implemented with the aim of introducing the economy to ‘one nation, one tax’ structure.

-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)

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