Even as the central government is all prepared to launch the e-way bill mechanism starting February 1, diamantaires and dealers in the world’s largest diamond cutting and polishing centre in Surat see it as a threat to the movement of valuable stones and jewellery from one location to the other.
Diamond industry leaders said the generation of e-way bill from the Goods and Service Tax (GST) portal is totally unsafe. For, the electronic information can be sought by miscreants by hacking the portal and thereby putting the valuable goods in transit at risk.
“E-way bill is to be generated from the common GSTN portal for the movement of valuable goods from one place to another. This poses great danger to the valuable goods in transit as the hackers/miscreants can easily gather information on the goods with the intention of robbery or theft.”
According to Navadiya, majority of diamonds and jewellery articles are supplied from Surat to Mumbai by the angadias or couriers. A small packet contains diamonds worth lakhs or even crores. The diamond couriers move swiftly in trains and they travel in dedicated coaches among the general passengers.
“A trader sending diamonds to Mumbai or any other destination has to generate e-way bill mentioning the value of goods, name of the sender, mode of transport courier firm and the destination of final delivery etc. If the information is leaked or hacked from the GSTN portal, then the valuable goods are at risk.”
As per an estimate, polished diamonds to the tune of Rs 500 crore are supplied from Surat to Mumbai on daily basis. Rough diamonds to the tune of over Rs 200 crore are supplied from Mumbai to Surat and from Surat to small cutting centres, including Bhavnagar and Amreli, on daily basis.
“We have strongly represented the Gujarat government as well as the central government to keep the gems and jewellery industry out of the purview of the e-way bill. This will not only protect the industry, but will keep the miscreants at bay. The trade runs secretly and any move to open the trade will have a cascading effect..”
A diamond unit owner and exporter Ramesh Kalsariya said, The government should allow the movement of valuable diamonds on invoice and janghad, but the concept of e-way bill is risky as far as the gems and jewellery sector is concerned. Our goods move secretly from one place to other and we don’t want to compromise on that.
While president of Surat Angadia Association Babu Patel said, “Data leakage from the GSTN portal is the biggest problem concerning the industry. Our courier men possessing diamonds worth lakhs and crores move secretly in trains and buses to safely deliver the parcels.
If the information is hacked, then our men are at risk. However the government needs to rethink on implementing e-way bill in diamond industry as the secrecy of trade will be over.
Source : timesofindia