No takers for gem-trading licences

No one has applied for licences to trade raw and finished gems at Mandalay’s Kyauk Wine gem market, where thousands of people trade daily, said U Maung Maung Shein, deputy general manager of Myanmar Gems Enterprise (Mandalay).

Under the gems law, merchants can apply for three kinds of licences, and no one has applied for licences to trade raw and finished gems at the gem market, he told a meeting on Wednesday with gemstone merchants and officials of the Internal Revenue Department, Myanmar Gems Enterprise, and Myanmar Gems and Jewellery Entrepreneurs Association.

“Finished product and jewellery shop licences costs K50,000 a year, and finished product licences cost K30,000 for three years,” said U Maung Maung Shein. “Rules are still being drafted for one-year licences,” he said.

People come to apply for licences at both Mong Shu and Mogok. I help them connect with the head office. The licence can help them get permission to trade gemstones at auctions,” he added.

One gemstones broker said he got a licence for finished gemstones and gemstone cutting boards after he heard that licences were being issued for gem traders at the Gems Enterprise Head Office.

U Kyaw Zaw Aung, a municipal committee member, said, “We gemstone cutters are not familiar with the tax system. That’s why I organised this event. Other events will also be organised in cooperation with the Myanmar Gems Enterprise or Myanmar Gems and Jewellery Entrepreneurs Association in Kyauk Wine.”

Gems trader working in Kyauk Wine demanded a reasonable tax rate at the meeting, as trade has been slowing since 2005.

Source: Myanmar Times

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