Digital-signature requirement tests Mumbai goldsmiths’ skills

MUMBAI: They can work intricate designs in gold but a digital signature–mandatory for GST compliance–is beyond the capabilities of Mumbai’s many goldsmiths. In south Mumbai’s Zaveri Bazaar, which handled 65% of the country’s gold trade till a decade ago, the chief concern now is to make the artisans GST-compliant.

“These workers are highly skilled but most are barely literate.For them, raising a bill and making it GST-compliant will be a huge challenge,“ said Nitin Khandelwal, president, All India Gems & Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF).

The gems, jewellery and diamond (GJD) industry is largely unorganised. Artisans take work from retailers and wholesalers, some of whom like Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri and Dwarkadas Chandumal Jewellers are big brands. The large retailers and manufacturers have so far handled all compliances, at all levels, said Ashok Minawala, director, Danabhai Jewellers.

At present, central excise duty and other levies apply beyond a turnover of Rs 10 crore. Under GST, turnover of Rs 20 lakh-Rs 75 lakh will be under the composite list while beyond Rs 75 lakh it will be under the complete tax net.

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