The gem and jewellery sector had been hit badly with the US, which accounts for nearly 35% of the countrys exports, reeling under a severe recession, Mehta said.The overall exports of gems and jewellery have gone down by 34.25% in November and a similar trend is expected during the current month of December. At the manufacturing level, exports of cut and polished diamonds are down by a little over 20% as compared to the same period last year. Orders have seen an average 20% fall between April-October 2008, he said.
Availability of gold and release of more dollar credit are some of the major concerns of the industry, Mehta said. All status holders must be permitted to import gold directly and sell it to exporters. This will help alleviate the crisis of an inequitable gold supply confronting the industry and enable smaller exporters fulfill their requirements of gold in smaller quantities, he added.