Belgium today raised the issue of imposition of 2 per cent duty on imports of polished and cut diamonds by India during a meeting with Commerce Minister Anand Sharma.
Diamonds account for a large part of trade between India and Belgium.
The diamond duty issue was discussed at the meeting of Sharma with Princess Astrid of Belgium and its Deputy Prime Minister Didier Reynders here.
According to an official, Sharma conveyed to the visiting side that the measure was necessitated due to economic reasons and the tax is applicable for imports from all the countries - not targeted specifically at diamond imports from Belgium.
"The Belgian side discussed the consequences of the recent special import tax of 2 per cent re-instituted by India on exports of polished and cut diamonds," the official said.
Of the world's polished diamond market, India's share is 60 per cent in terms of value, 85 per cent in terms of volume and 92 per cent in terms of pieces.
Eleven out of every 12 cut and polished diamond set in jewellery worldwide are processed in India. The cutting and polishing of diamond employs a million people in the country.
Antwerp in Belgium on the other hand is the key destination for rough diamonds.
More than 80 per cent of the world's rough diamond volume is traded through Antwerp. About 40 per cent of the world's natural industrial diamonds pass through the city.
Sharma also conveyed satisfaction over the signing of MoU between the two sides for exchange of information/data sharing on Kimberley Process.
KP is a joint initiative by governments, industry and the civil society to stem the flow of conflict diamonds - rough diamonds used by rebel movements to finance wars against legitimate governments.