The All Kerala Gold and Silver Merchants' Association (AKGSMA) has proposed a bullion park, a world-class secured facility for handling the jewellery business.
It is proposed that the bullion park will comprise, among other facilities, factories, refineries, hallmarking training, a gemmology institute, bullion banks, bonded warehouses, apartments and hotels. The proposal submitted to the Industries department recently envisages a solar power generation facility for the park.
S. Abdul Nazar, State treasurer of the AKGSMA, says the association is looking for land, possibly in Thrissur or Malappuram districts, for the proposed park. Thrissur is the hub of gold processing and such a world-class facility would help the business immensely. Land is available with the government on the industrial estate in Malappuram district.
The bullion park will help the gold trade flourish in the State. Despite the high demand for gold ornaments, more than 50% of the ornaments sold in the State are manufactured outside Kerala. The park will also help bring about a single window clearance system, answer the need for training and skill development, and encourage research and innovation in the gem and jewellery segment, the project proposal says.
Mr. Nazar says the association has appealed for strong government support for the proposed park as such a facility would generate employment opportunities and help the State make up the revenue loss due to GST introduction. The gold and silver jewellery business is one of the biggest tax revenue segments for the government, contributing about ₹1,000 crore in taxes.
In the meanwhile, the association at its recent annual general meeting appealed to the government to constitute a committee or a commission to study the problems facing the business that is contributing substantially to the State exchequer. Mr. Nazar says the demand for production of e-way bills for even small volumes of gold has proved virtually impractical. There are around 7,000 registered traders in the State and most of them are small businesses. Preparing e-way bills for these small businesses at various stages of processing and movement of ornaments have proved extremely difficult, hampering the business, he adds.