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GJEPC expects 10% decline in gems, jewellery exports this year

The slowdown in world economy has hit exports of gems and jewellery from the country, said GJEPC's chairman

GJEPC expects 10% decline in gems, jewellery exports this year

The Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) today said it expects 10% decline in shipments this fiscal compared to $40 billion in 2014-15 due to the global slowdown.

"The slowdown in world economy has hit exports of gems and jewellery from the country this year. We exported $40 billion worth gems and jewellery last year, but we have witnessed 14% decline in exports in the first 10 months of FY16," GJEPC Chairman Praveenshankar Pandya told PTI here.

"We may see some recovery in remaining two months period, but exports may remain 10% less than the last year," he added.

"Country's leadership status in the diamond business has been a perfect example of 'Make in India' achieved since so many years," he said on the sidelines of 'Signature IIJS' jewellery show and the third edition of 'India Gem and Jewellery Machinery Expo'.

According to him, Maharashtra needs to create better infrastructure and reform labour laws to attract the business that has gone to China.

"Maharashtra also needs a Special Economic Zone policy. The task of relocating 100,000 workers from Zaveri Bazaar (in Mumbai) to a new area is humongous. We have a requirement of 2 mn sq ft and we are happy that the state government has offered us land in Thane-Belapur (neighbouring the city).

"The state government needs to provide a single-window clearance for all initiatives" Pandya added.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra Industries Minister Subhash Desai said the state government is serious about stimulating ease of doing business.

"We are engaging bureaucracy to reduce clearances and permits, end inspector raj and harassment.

"We are engaged in a constant dialogue with GJEPC to resolve various issues. We realise that SEZs are the engines of industrial development and the government will revise policy soon. State government will give infra support and facilitate faster VAT refunds," Desai said.

Russian diamond producing company Alrosa's President Andrey Zharkov said, "Our supply of rough diamonds to India has been growing steadily since 2010. Last year, we did business of $1.5 billion in India, which is 45% of the total sales.

"The growth in our share of business was achieved in spite of the overall slowdown in demand. The number of long-term buyers has increased to 12.

The ninth edition of 'Signature IIJS' is expected to attract over 580 exhibitors from 370 cities and 55 countries and more than 15,000 trade visitors.