Gems & jewellery sector awaits new shine

Ahmedabad, March 24 | Updated: Mar 25 2005, 05:30am hrs
The gems and jewellery industry is upbeat, expecting favourable announcements in the foreign trade policy.

Top of the agenda is the reduction of import duty on low carat jewellery and creation of a system to provide better service to the global consumer.

Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council chairman Bakul Mehta said, "The industry has seen 15-20% of steady growth in the past couple of years and the trend will continue. There are some policy issues which we have already conveyed to the central government and are expecting positive announcements in the coming trade policy".

The industry has yet to introduce and implement application of new technologies that will help simultaneously in marketing the product along with providing efficient service. With existing resources and expertise in the field of jewellery manufacturing, diamond, coloured stones and base metal market, the industry is now focusing its efforts in devising specialised mechanism to serve tailor-made requirements of the customer. "We are looking towards implementing an online selling mechanism of gem, jewellery and diamonds that will not only increase service capability but will also help in increasing revenue for the industry."

The Exim policy in 2004 had assured steps to reduce transaction cost to a minimum and allow duty free import of rejected jewellery up to 2% of FOB value of exports.

The gems and jewellery exports comprise diamonds, gemstones, gold jewellery, pearls, non-gold jewellery and synthetic stones. Breaking the shackles of being an ethnic and conventional industry, the industry has set growth standards in the past couple of years. The total exports of Indian gem and jewellery industry during January-December 2004 touched $14,329.23 million and registered a growth of 37.88%, compared to $10,392.83 million the previous year.

Registering a steady growth, exports surged from $5,258 million in 1996-97 to $8,905 million in 2002-03. Experts estimate that the exports may touch $20 billion by 2008.

India today occupies top position in importing, processing and exporting diamonds. In 2002-03, of the total industry exports, the diamond market contributed $6,742 million.