According to the Economic Times of India, the Indian government is now "likely" to introduce a favorable tax regime in the 2016 budget for the diamond industry in the Special Notified Zone (SNZ) in order to help develop India as a rough diamond trading hub and help small diamond traders. The gems and jewelry industry has suggested that the turnover tax on diamond trade in the SNZ should not be more than 0.25% and must be internationally competitive. "The proposal was submitted to the Finance Ministry for its consideration in the Budget for 2016-17," sources said, adding the move could help in making the tax regime competitive and boost the depressed diamond industry.
The SNZ was set up with a view to facilitating imports and trading of rough diamonds. The zone would also give the diamond industry a strong competitive advantage against other trading centres like Antwerp, Dubai, by saving time as well as foreign exchange spent on travel to these trading centres or establish offices there. It will also ensure steady supply of rough diamonds in the country. According to the data of the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council, exports of cut and polished diamonds fell nearly 15% to $14.78 billion in April-December 2015 compared to the same period last year. The country's overall exports too are in the negative zone since December 2014.