The indigenous gem and jewellery sector in the country has come to a "standstill" amid the coronavirus pandemic and is in immediate need of relief measures from the government, an industry body said.
With virtually no footfalls, many jewellers might have to even shut down their shops, the All India Gem & Jewellery Domestic Council said.
"Considering the crisis situation, the domestic gem & jewellery sector seeks immediate relief measures to enable the trade to function smoothly," chairman of the council Anantha Padmanabhan said in a statement.
March, being the last month of the financial year, there are also many due dates of payments for businesses in the sector, it said.
"We have sent a recommendation to the prime minister stating our concern... and we have received a prompt and favourable response from the PMO," Padmanabhan said.
The council also urged the government for deferring the GST return and extending the time limit for filing it.
"We have also sought reduction in customs duty to 4 per cent. If rate of tax is not kept at this level, it shall encourage smuggling and unorganised business," the statement added.