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The Indian diamond industry believes there won’t be any major issues in the diamond supply chain

11 april 2022

dinesh_navadiya_xxn.pngDinesh Navadiya is a Diamond Baron from Surat. He is serving the industry for more than a decade in various positions and capacities. He is a Regional Chairman of The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council, an apex body of the Indian gem and jewellery industry. He is an immediate past president of the South Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He has served Surat Diamond Association as President for various years.

Navadiya is a philanthropist and continuously works towards the betterment of Artisans and their families. Under his leadership, GJEPC successfully established 4 Diamond CFCs in Gujarat and 1 Jewellery CFC at Rajkot. His vision empowered the Surat industry with the first-ever SNZ facility where foreign mining companies can come to showcase their goods in pre-auction events, on consignment bases. There are many such achievements in his name, which he carried out for the upliftment of the Diamond and Jewellery industry of Gujarat.

Here, in an Interview with Rough&Polished, Dinesh Navadiya gives a positive picture of the Surat cutting and polishing sector as a strong, controlled and resilient manufacturing sector.

Some excerpts:

Can you explain the present situation in the cutting and polishing sector in Surat regarding the availability of rough diamonds? Is the manufacturing sector running as usual?

As of now, the Surat manufacturing sector is working fine and in full swing as usual. Normal production is going on in the cutting & polishing factories, and there is no negative impact on diamond production because of rough diamond requirement. 

As regards rough diamond supply, the Surat manufacturing sector is receiving sufficient roughs. Production is going on as normal. All the Surat diamond manufacturing units are working in full capacity as in the past.

Has the shortage experienced some time ago returned to normalcy after ALROSA’s rough imports recently?

As of now there is no shortage of rough diamonds. The manufacturing units are working in the usual manner in the Surat diamond manufacturing sector.

How did your recent meeting with government officials go? And what help will the industry get to grow further during these challenging times?

The talks with the Government have been initiated and we are hopeful that the Government will take action in case any problem arises like scarcity in supply of rough diamonds etc.

What about financial help from Banks? Is the banks’ support adequate to help the rough buyers? What more help do the importers expect from the government, banks & financial institutions?

Financial support is available from banks in a limited manner. As in the present scenario with various sanctions being imposed by the US and other NATO nations, direct payments in US dollars have been suspended.

After discussions with ALROSA, they have agreed to accept payment in Euro. Based on this development, banks like SBI & IndusInd have agreed to and also remitted payments in Euro to ALROSA for the import of rough diamonds.

We suggest that RBI and IBA should issue guidelines to banks stating that the payment if acceptable by the Russian counterpart in Euro should be made to support the trade.

As the situation is far from over, we request the government to look into a long-term policy by which the payments made in Euro to Russian counterparts be acceptable universally by all, or if alternatively a mechanism to allow Rupee-Ruble trade arrangement with Russia which have been in the talks since 2018 to facilitate payments to Russia in rupee and ease trade disruption.

And, if ALROSA is permitted to open a selling office in India then the rough availability can be made within India which will save time, money and help in increasing our exports as well.

Presently employing more than 0.8 million employees and manufacturing 14 out of 15 diamonds in the world, the Surat sector may face problems if the current situation does not return to normal. Your thoughts?

India, being the leader in manufacturing cut & polished diamonds, cut and polishes 94% of the world’s diamond by volume and have a built-in manufacturing infrastructure for that with millions of dollars of investment. About one million people, the majority of whom are from the agrarian and financially underprivileged section of the society is directly employed in the industry in India.

If the situation doesn’t improve, it may impact the industry in the coming days. However, we would like to inform all that the supply of rough shipments from ALROSA has resumed, and our cutting and manufacturing sector in Surat and elsewhere are working as usual.

Do you see diamonds prices increasing shortly… both rough and polished diamonds? How will it affect the Indian diamond industry on the whole?

Prices of diamond depends on the equation of demand vs supply and as of now, there doesn’t seem any other factor affecting the prices.

Are attempts being made to import rough diamonds from other sources as well to keep the manufacturing units running smoothly?

India has always been importing from various sources as per the data below:

Source of rough Imported to India

excl_11042022_eng.png

As of now, what steps have the leaders of the Surat diamonds sector taken to support the manufacturing units running continuously… going forward?

As mentioned above, the Indian diamond industry has various sources for rough diamonds,

and therefore, there won’t be any major issues in the manufacturing supply chain.

Aruna Gaitonde, Editor in Chief of the Asian Bureau, Rough&Polished