According to Sputnik, "India will soon be enacting regulations that will end the role of intermediaries in the import of rough diamonds from Russia."
Sources from the Indian Ministry of Commerce told Sputnik that new regulations will relax the restrictive taxation and customs procedure which Indians had to adhere to when importing rough diamonds.
As announced earlier this week, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin plan to discuss this proposal when the two meet in Goa this weekend ahead of the BRICS summit.
This is not a novel intention, however. In 2015, India created a special customs zone (SNZ) in the Bharat Diamond Bourse in Mumbai in order to facilitate the direct supply of diamonds from Russia. India is attempting to further develop the zone in order to upgrade its rough diamond auctioning mechanism.
Back at the launch of the SNZ on December 20 2015, GJEPC chairman Praveenshankar Pandya said, "Although India is the largest diamond cutting and polishing center, we have had to depend on other trading centers like Belgium and Israel for supply of rough. By establishing the SNZ in India, the ready availability of rough diamonds in India through the IDTC will make a huge difference as the manufacturers won’t have to travel across the world to procure diamonds. We are hopeful that there will be a drastic improvement in production of cut and polished diamonds in India.”
But to enable trading from the zone and attract foreign companies, the taxation regime should be simplified and competitive, which to some extent happened, but has not gone far enough to entice major producers to sell their rough stones directly to manufacturers in India.
Read the Government of India's 2013 Report of the Task Group for Diamond Sector to Make India an "International Trading Hub for Rough Diamonds" here.
Source: The Diamond Loupe