GJEPC withdraws suspension of rough diamond imports

Written by Commodities Bureau | Mumbai | Updated: Dec 28 2008, 03:22am hrs
The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) has unanimously decided to call off the appeal to cease the import of rough diamonds for one month, made on November 25.The initial appeal was issued at the height of a global banking credit crisis to enable Indian diamond merchants and their bankers to obtain necessary clarifications from stakeholders, financing institutions, rough producers, government and banking authorities, overseas clients and others.

When announcing the decision to rescind the call for the halt of import of rough diamonds, Vasant Mehta, chairman, GJEPC, said, I am thankful to the industry for supporting the appeal to cease the import of rough diamonds for one month. Though the global situation has not improved with retail sales during the US holiday turning out to be greatly disappointing- we feel confident that our members now possessed all the tools and the information required to exercise the needed self-discipline to decide on rough diamond acquisitions in the future.

The one-month breather period was used by the GJEPC to bring in overseas experts to brief members of the council and bankers, to enter into dialogue with the government on specific assistance measures and avoiding an irresponsible increase in banking debts, the council said.

The sudden fall in global diamond demand and the unprecedented volatility in prices has enhanced the levels of commercial and financial risks that our members faced. The GJEPC will take all possible steps to mitigate the risks of our members and to increase our endeavour to promote Indias diamond and jewellery sector in the global market, Mehta added.

The members of council utilised the opportunity to discuss the fall in global demand for rough and polished diamonds with their workers who will bear much of the burden that will be caused by the inevitable contraction of the diamond business for the foreseeable future. The council will continue to monitor the global situation very closely and will not hesitate to announce new measures if and when the situation warrants.