Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu is scheduled to lay the foundation stone of the park, which would be developed on co-operative housing model basis, accommodating about 4,800 large and small units encompassing the entire jewellery value chain.
The Maharashtra government has allotted 21 acres to the park and has also assured it will provide all possible assistance for its development and smooth functioning. The jewellery industry is expecting a fund allocation from Maharashtra for workers' welfare and for small business units in the jewellery sector.
“The jewellery park is different from the Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB) or any other export processing zones including Santacruz Electronics Export Processing Zone (SEEPZ), which houses a large number of jewellery exporters. This park will dedicate half its space to small players in the value chain. Customs, banks and other such agencies required for business will be available here. For development, however, the jewellery park would follow the BDB model,” said Sabyasachi Ray, Executive Director, Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC).
Commercial operations are scheduled to start shortly.
The unique feature of this park is that both exporters and domestic jewellery suppliers would be able to conduct their businesses under one roof. Most importantly, jewellery exporters would be able to take advantage of all the benefits enjoyed by units in export processing zones.
Another factor that differentiates this jewellery park from BDB is that the latter is a diamond trading hub. Experts, however, believe that a number of units currently in Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) would be shifted to this new location in order to make use of government facilities.
“In this jewellery park, all big and small jewellers would be treated equally, being shareholder in the project. Hence, even small shopowners would have a say in future,” said a senior industry official.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has promised industry leaders his government will improve infrastructure in this area and link it to roads and railway stations.