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India’s diamond sector seeks government support in current difficult times

22 june 2020

The Indian gem & jewellery industry had asked the Central Government of India for extension of the interest subvention scheme to the entire gems and jewellery sector. It also asked for providing a level-playing field to foreign mining companies to encourage them to start sales/auction of rough diamonds at special notified zones (SNZs) .
With a view to promote manufacturing and exports in the gem & Jewellery sector, the Government has plans for setting up of common facility centres (CFC) and facilitating shipments through e-commerce, and also provide hand-holding for investors with a focus on improving India's manufacturing capabilities.
The Director General Ajay Sahai of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) said the industry holds huge potential to boost manufacturing and exports and certain suggestions have been made to the commerce ministry to further push the growth of the sector.
He said that for further easing the working capital financing, manufacturers and exporters should be permitted to import loose diamonds without duty and SEZ (special economic zones) manufacturers should be permitted to sell loose diamonds and jewellery from SEZ to the domestic market without any duties and taxes to contain slowdown.
"The industry has asked for increasing the subvention rate from 5 per cent to 7 per cent to protect the trade and forex (foreign exchange) earning of the country and for the business fraternity to be competitive against other suppliers in the international market," Sahai said.
Industry experts also stress that there is a need for implementation of a risk management system in precious cargo customs clearance centre, Mumbai, to ensure ease of doing exports and imports. Also, the government should facilitate setting up of more common facility centres (CFCs) and mega CFCs to enable MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) to use capital-intensive modern technology.

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