People busy buying jewellery on “Akshaya Tritiya” in Nagpur, on April 28, 2017.IANSOn June 3, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council will finalise the tax rate on gold, among four or five items that were left uncovered in the previous GST Council meeting on May 18-19. The jewellery industry is hopeful of a lower rate on gold even as it braces up for a higher rate. In an interview with International Business Times India edition, Pratap Kamath, CEO of Abaran Jewellers and founder-member of the All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (AIGJF) shares his views on the subject and the likely impact on the Rs 3 lakh crore trade. Edited excerpts:International Business Times (IBT): What would be the GST rate on gold?Pratap Kamath (PK): We have been requesting for 1.25 percent but the feeler that we are getting is that the government is looking at 4 percent.IBT: Did any delegation from AIGJF meet ministers or officials in this regard?PK: Yes, we had many meetings and we have one more scheduled…our (AIGJF) chairman Nitin Khandelwal will be meeting finance minister Arun Jaitley either on May 29 or 30. A meeting with the under-secretary in the finance ministry has also been scheduled.IBT: To make a case for 1.25 percent GST on gold?PK: Yes, that’s right.IBT: How hopeful are you?PK: We are very positive…the fact that the GST Council has kept a decision on gold pending till now is an indication…see at 1.25 percent, compliance will be high, which is what the government wants. If they fix the rate at 4 or 5 percent, compliance will be very low. As it is, the import duty on gold is very high, at 10 percent.IBT: How would gold prices trend post finalisation of GST rate?PK: I don’t think much… it would be in the range of 2 to 4 percent, up or down, depending on the rate.IBT: How do you think demand for physical gold has been impacted due to gold bond schemes?PK: It’s not significant but yes, of late, it is picking up.IBT: How do you foresee the initial days of post GST era for the trade?PK: There will be some disruption for the next few months as traders come to terms with compliance and other issues.IBT: How was the quarter (January-March 2017) gone by and the next two months?PK: Very bad for us…on an average, it was down 30 to 40 percent, YoY and even now, it has not picked up much. Demonetisation severely affected our business. There was a general sense of fear among buyers but we are hopeful that things would improve in the next few months.IBT: What’s your view on the Modi government’s performance in three years?PK: We are in a nascent stage…most decisions that have been taken are drastic…and of course, with all the good intentions. But the results will be felt only in the long term. Abaran Jewellers store in Bengaluru.YouTube
It is often said that photography is about capturing souls and not smiles. “We are one!” believes Italian artiste, Attilio Tripodi who makes one introspect and visualize landscapes and human emotions in a new way as one takes a walk through his photography exhibition titled, ‘Temporary Solitudes’ at Indian International Centre (IIC) fromJuly 6-16, 11 am to 7pm in the national Capital.“We share our lives with those around us, through our thoughts, actions and emotions as human nature drives us to be sociable. We are connected to each other. We have more or less consolidated our material reality, but we are not often aware of our inner spiritual nature or worse, we deny it,” says Tripodi pointing towards one of his captures. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’ One would witness lines, colours and graphic elements synced in such a way that enhances the ability of an image to communicate. There are around 50 photographs captured in different countries. Also, you will mark only one person in every picture with prevailing landscapes and various angles to rouse emotions.Elaborating on the exhibition…‘Temporary Solitudes’ is my humble gaze of a fragment of humanity. I feel that I am a part of it. I am conscious of the invisible thread that connects the whole of humanity, and that whenever a person gets in the way of its evolution, the benefit is collective. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixI do not wish to disseminate any message but only interpret things and sounds that surround me with a tool called photography. While selecting images for the exhibition, I preferred the ones that matched my aesthetic sense – lines, shapes, and textures can be seen in all my photos.Inspired by human landscapesI always prefer ‘human landscapes’ in my photographs, an innate vision. I like to photograph people immersed in their daily lives, as I too am a part of it and especially because in my journey of inner and spiritual growth, I have learned that we are all connected to each other. I imagined that the protagonists of my photos deliberately seek the solitude required to create a contact with one’s own soul, a necessary prelude to begin a process of growth of evolution. On capturing emotions…Capturing expressions, joy, smiles, awkwardness, signs of aging that draw and redraw faces of different people excite me. I love watching people and capturing them. It paves a way to see myself, through this endless game of mirrors that is life.The journeyIt took me a year and a half to focus on this concept. The images came in a spontaneous and natural way. There were no such challenges, everything just fell in place. I also found some photos taken a few years ago that very well amalgamated with the other photos of the collection as they in sync with its aesthetic expression.Black and white huesMy photos usually express liveliness through colours. For ‘Temporary Solitudes’, I preferred using monochrome as it connects to the theme which is meditative and intimate. The images express a feeling of vitality which unites them, that perhaps have a tinge of melancholy but never sad. I preferred minimal shots without any disturbing elements to accentuate the introspective aspect.Art is never static It is not very different from my previous works. As the Talmud (central text of Rabbinic Judaism) states, “We do not see things as they are, but we see things as we are,” I believe it affirms the uniqueness of each person, despite the similarities. Currently, I’m working on a completely different collection, dedicated to symbols and contradictions of human nature, without moralizing or judging, with a touch of vibrant creativity. Photography is an art and art is a dynamic concept, always moving, never static.