Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday urged bankers to sort out all issues regarding jewelry retailers and exporters by January 10, ahead of the Pongal festival.
Presiding over a meeting of bankers and members of the jewelry retailers association in Chennai, Sitharaman said bankers should work closely with the jewelry business to resolve issues related to export credit, disbursement loans, customer facilitation and other banking services.
“It was a very meaningful meeting. Jewelers were allowed to present their problems at the bankers counter in the presence of the Minister of Finance, ”said a jeweler who attended the meeting.
When some jewelers pointed out that they were forced to change banks frequently due to a poor response or a lack of availability of loans, the Minister of Finance asked bankers to improve the quality of their service in order to retain their customers.
A jewelry exporter from Chennai described the meeting as a “boost” to the industry as Nirmala Sithraman patiently listened to their every grievance and, in some cases, asked bankers to explain the reason for the delay or the delay. service deficiency.
He explained that whenever there is a dollar remittance on gold exports, the banks insist that the exporters convert them to rupees but buy them dollars while paying for their future gold imports. “When I sell dollars to a bank, it is at the ‘X’ rate but when I buy from them, it is at an ‘X + 5’ rate and it is very unfair for the exporters”, a- he declared.
While some bankers explained that exporters can keep their dollars in the Employees Foreign Exchange Account (EEFC) or exercise other options, many jewelers were unaware of these options.
The Minister of Finance then asked the bankers to first inform customers about the different products available. She also said that bankers should encourage these companies to register under MSMEs to enjoy interest rate benefits.
“Before the harvest festival”
“The meeting was very satisfying. The minister asked the banks to settle all the grievances of the jewelry sector by January 10 so that the jewelers can apply for new loans or receive new export credits before the Pongal festival ”, said a jeweler retailer.
He also told the meeting that banks have been wary of loans to the jewelry sector since the Nirav Modi scam broke.
“We have said that this is the case with diamond exports when we, the retail jewelers, sell gold jewelry in the domestic market. Whatever loan we take from banks comes in the form of jewelry on display in our showrooms, ”he said.