India relaxes gold jewellery excise duty rules

MUMBAI, July 14 (Reuters) - India on Wednesday relaxed the rules for its tax on gold jewellery sales that was introduced earlier this year in an attempt to address concerns raised by the industry, the government said in a statement.

Jewellers in the world’s second biggest gold consumer went on strike for six weeks after the government imposed 1 percent excise duty on gold jewellery from March onwards.

To address jewellers concerns the government formed a committee and accepted its recommendation.

According to the new rules, jewellers with turnover up to 150 million rupees ($2.2 million) a year will be exempt from the excise duty, the statement said. Earlier, the exemption limit was for jewellers with turnover up to 120 million rupees.

The government statement also said that in the first two years, government agencies will not audit jewellers that have turnover of less than 1 billion rupees.

$1 = 67.0037 Indian rupees Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav; editing by David Clarke