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LAHORE: In order to pay attention to the long-standing exports-related issues of the jewelers, the federal government is working to set up the “National Gems & Jewelery Authority” that will strive to boost the country’s gold, gold ornaments and precious stones at international markets in collaboration with private stakeholders.

This was disclosed by Chairman Prime Minister’s Task Force on Gems and Jewelery Engr. Gul Asghar Khan during a meeting held recently in Islamabad with a 15-member delegation of the Gold and Gems Art Promotion Council Pakistan (GGAPCP) and Lahore Division Sarafa and Jewellers Association (LDS&JA). GGAPC Pakistan President and LDS&JA Chairman Muhammad Ahmad led the delegation.

“Establishment of the National Gems and Jewelery Authority is on the cards that will boost the country’s exports of precious stones, gold and gold ornaments to international markets and besides making it a profitable business for the jewelers,” the chairman said, according to the minutes of the meeting.

Gul Asghar said that all the rules and regulations in this regard have been finalised and its inauguration was likely to be announced shortly. He said the authority will work in collaboration with jewellers to boost the exports which has the potential of earning US $13 billion per annum.

Besides, the chairman disclosed that the federal government would also establish “Jewelers Towers” in all major cities of the country where display centers, training centers, Jewellers shops and manufacturing facilities for gems and jewellery businessmen will be available.

The construction of these facilities would be under through private-public partnership (PPP) mode, he said, adding that a tax exemption for a period of 10 years would be given to jewelers and the source of investment from the constructor will not be asked.

The task force’s chairman further revealed that setting up of “Gold Bank” is also under consideration where people would deposit their ornaments and get profit in return in shape of gold. He added that around 200 tons of gold business is done in Pakistan every year while 100 tons gold is recycled.

Talking about the controversial SRO-760, Asghar told the delegation that they had sought reservations and suggestion of the jewelers’ community and currently they are preparing the draft of a new policy with an aim to withdraw the said SRO which is the main hurdle in exports of jewelry and gold. He assured the delegation that all the issues being faced by jewelers including taxes will be solved in consultation with them.

GGAPC Pakistan President Muhammad Ahmad requested to treat the gems and jewelry sector on equal footings as compared to other sectors as it can be the second major export-oriented industry after cotton. He called for introduction of latest mining technologies from abroad and practice them in the country for better results to avoid damages to minerals on large-scale.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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