Diamond undervaluation : Small diamantaires unable to export following DRI, Customs raid on big exporter at Sachin SEZ

Surat : The joint operation by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and the Customs department on a diamond company involved in the alleged undervaluation scam at the Surat Special Economic Zone (SurSEZ) has started haunting the small-time diamond exporters from Surat.

Industry sources said the small diamond exporters, who are dependent on the big exporters, for exporting their polished diamonds to different parts of the world, have been left in the lurch following the revenue intelligence agencies tightening the noose on the big diamond exporters after the exposure of the undervaluation scam.

Official sources said the DRI and Customs department had carried out a joint operation on Universal Gems operating from the SurSEZ at Sachin in the month of May. The investigating teams found enough evidence against the 22-year-old owner of the diamond company identified as Meet Kachadiya, who was exporting diamonds on behalf of the small manufacturers by undervaluing the goods in his books and charging huge commission.

For exporting diamonds, the exporters in India are required to comply with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) and have to register themselves with the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) for the same to get the export code. Many small exporters in Surat and Mumbai have been exporting diamonds through the big exporters to avoid the paper work and registration process.

According to the industry experts, the small exporters have turned to the logistics companies based in Mumbai for exporting the diamonds. However, the logistic companies are asking the exporters to complete the KYC norms before they take their export orders.

“The small exporters are at the receiving end. They do not have KPCS registration, nor they have the export code issued by the GJEPC. In such circumstance, many small exporters have been left in the lurch. Big exporters are not ready to take the export orders of the small players” said a diamantaire.