Thrissur diamond consortium to check exodus to Surat

Thiruvananthapuram, March 22 | Updated: Mar 23 2005, 06:15am hrs
Exodus of diamond-cutting professionals to Surat has driven 50 diamond traders to form a consortium in Thrissur. State government agency Kinfra had initially formulated the diamond production facility as a theme park, but recently this has evolved as a limited company Thrissur Diamonds.

Through support in raising capital, Kinfra - the state infrastructure agency - expects to wean back the skilled diamond polishing workforce based in Thrissur from Surat, V K Ebrahim Kunju, Kerala industry minister told the state Assembly. Thrissur is known as the hub of diamond and gold jewellery production in South India.

The diamond sector enjoys several incentives in Gujarat, while the Kerala government has slapped 4% tax on it. Even as the state went for several feasibility studies on an industrial park, jewellers had not expressed their willingness to set up units. On the contrary, 50 of them have now pooled their resources to set up Thrissur Diamonds in Kaiparambu in Central Kerala.

Besides the margin money scheme of Kerala government, the Thrissur diamond consortium is in talks with Bank of Baroda for finance. The state government is also facilitating central industrial incentive funds for the diamond industry revival in Thrissur, Mr Kunju said.

The state government also has plans for a diamond cutting and polishing training centre for skill-enhancement of the workers.