Diamonds regain their luster lost during coronavirus pandemic; export surpasses pre-Covid levels.

Surat : Diamonds manufactured in the world’s largest diamond cutting and polishing centre in Surat has gained back their luster lost during the coronavirus pandemic.

For the first time, the polished diamond exports from the country registered a growth of 24.46% to Rs 14,512 crore in June-21 compared to Rs 11,660 crore during the pre-Covid period in June-19.

According to the statistics provided by the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), between April-June 2021, cut and polished diamond exports recorded a growth of 26.45% to Rs. 45741.52 crore  as compared to Rs. 36173.89 crore registered during April-June 2019.

Colin Shah, Chairman, GJEPC said, “Growth in exports is majorly attributed to the revived import demand from India’s leading export market of USA, fulfilment of export orders received by numerous Indian exhibitors during the Virtual Buyer-Seller Meets (VBSMs) conducted by the Council.”

Shah added, “Revival of demand for studded jewellery products and re-stocking/increasing the inventory levels majorly attributed to the swift recovery of exports of cut and polished diamonds as well as studded jewellery.”

The overall G&J exports from India, according to GJEPC, is back to the pre-Covid levels. During April-June-2021, the overall gross exports witnessed a growth of 8.46% to Rs 67,265 crore as compared to Rs 62,000 crore during the same period in 2019.

However, the exports of studded and plain gold jewellery registered a decline of 36% and 69% respectively. Studded gold jewellery exports declined 35.93% to Rs. 12781.31 Crore from April 2021 to June 2021 as compared to Rs. 19947.59 Crore during April to June 2019.

Similarly, plain gold jewellery export declined 69.55% to Rs 4,600 crore during April-June 2021 as compared to Rs 15,136 crore during the same period in 2019.

Shah said, “The decline in gold jewellery exports from India is primarily due to the sector facing critical domestic challenges including non-availability of the precious metal i.e., gold and duty drawback rates not being at par with the actual duty paid leading to compressed margins for the exporters and also making the products less competitive in the world market.”

 

Unrest brewing amongst diamond workers over the wage cut and non-payment of wages during Covid-19 induced lockdown last year.

Surat :  Diamond workers in the world’s largest diamond cutting and polishing centre in Surat have threatened to take to the street against the diamond unit owners for cutting wages due to the coronavirus pandemic and the non-payment of the wages during the coronavirus induced lockdown last year.

Diamond workers under the aegis of Gujarat Diamond Workers Union (GDWU) submitted a memorandum to the office-bearers of Surat Diamond Association (SDA) demanding wage hike, payment of lockdown wages and free treatment of diamond polishers and their family members at the SDA-run hospital in Varachha.

Bhavesh Tank, vice-president of GDWU told TBT “The employers in the diamond industry have cut down about 20-25% in the wages fixed for the diamond workers. This despite the fact that the diamond industry has regained luster and exports have surpassed the pre-Covid levels”

According to Tank, the SDA-run diamond hospital must provide free-of-cost medical treatment to the diamond polishers and family members.

Ramesh Jilariya, president of GDWU told TBT, “Even the labour department has issued notice to the SDA and sought reply as to why the lockdown wages were not paid to the large section of diamond workers. There are many workers who have committed suicide due to financial crisis and losing jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic”

 

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