Mumbai, Mar 26 (PTI) Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) has announced a Rs 50 crore welfare fund for its workforce, amid the COVID-19 pandemic that has brought business to a standstill.
“The world is undergoing unprecedented difficult times in the wake of COVID-19. India too is grappled with this deadly pandemic. During these hard times it becomes pertinent and mandatory to take care of our employees,” GJEPC chairman Pramod Agrawal said in a statement.
The gems and jewellery sector in the country employs over 50 lakh workforce.
“In our endeavour to combat the situation, we have decided to create a corpus of Rs 50 crore from our own reserves for the welfare initiatives of workforce employed in this sector in the current scenario,” Agarwal added.
He also appealed to all its members to take care of their employees during the lockdown and demonstrate a united and humane approach.
Meanwhile, GJEPC vice chairman Colin Shah said the Finance Minister’s announcement that companies with an annual turnover of less than Rs 5 crore will not be levied any interest, penalty or late fees with respect to GST till June 30, will help MSMEs in the gem and jewellery sector.
As the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdowns across cities create large scale economic disruption, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on March 24, announced various measures including extending the deadline for filing income tax and GST returns.
The extension of timelines for GST returns for three months — March to May, to the end of June without any late fees, penalty and interest for enterprises with turnover less than Rs 5 crore will provide significant relief for SMEs who are likely to be subject to intense liquidity pressures.