NEW DELHI: Taking a cue from the Gujarat elections, the finance ministry is planning to dole our special package for the textile and gems & jewellery sectors in the upcoming Budget. Despite badly hit by the GST, people in the state decided to vote for the economic agenda of the Bharatiya Janata Party government.

“There is some resentment in textile and gems & jewellery sectors. The finance minister spoke to industry representative during the election campaign and their concerns will be taken care of. Apart from the agriculture sector, these two sectors will be a priority as they are employment generating sectors,” a senior finance ministry official told Express.

He hinted that there may be more freebies and subsidies in the coming Budget.

“The Gujarat election results are an indicator of voters’ mood. The government will incorporate many takeaways from the election results. So, the incentives for these sectors (agriculture, textile and gems and jewellery) cannot be ruled out,” he added. The BJP fared well in Surat, whose diamond and textile markets were among the worst-hit due to GST and demonetisation.

There was a decline of 10 per cent in the overall gems & jewellery exports in the first six months of this financial year. The total gems & jewellery exports were worth `2.89 lakh crore during 2016-17. The traders blamed demonetisation and GST for the decline.

Despite the resentment, the finance minister spoke to the trade representatives and promised to look into their concerns.

Now that the industry has voted for the government, the Centre is likely to go populist and the tone would be set in the coming Union Budget 2018, which will also be the last full Budget by the current government.

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