India's gross exports of gems and jewellery sector are expected to decline 5-7 per cent in FY20 as compared to the previous financial year, on account of global downturn and rise in gold prices which has affected domestic demand.
As per the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), net exports of the sector declined 5.32 per cent to $30.96 billion in FY19, mainly on account of slowdown in demand in major developed markets.
"Last year it (gross exports) was around $40 billion. This year we are looking at 5 to 7 per cent decline," said GJEPC Executive Director Sabyasachi Ray.
Besides, Chairman Pramod Kumar Agarwal said the Council has requested the government that finished jewellery be kept out of the purview of proposed mega trade deal RCEP to protect the interests of domestic manufacturers.
The Council has also demanded that the import duty on finished diamonds and coloured gemstones be brought down to 2.5 per cent from 7.5 per cent at present.
Ray was addressing a press conference on the sidelines of the opening of a gems and jewellery export facilitation centre here.
Agarwal said the centre will facilitate growth of exports with main focus on North India and also boost outbound shipments.
He said the Council has started setting up new common facilitation centres with the help of commerce and industry ministry and these are coming up in Delhi, Jaipur, Coimbatore and Kolkata.
He said the GJEPC expects outbound shipments of the sector to touch $75 billion in the next 4-5 years and create 1.5-2 million jobs to add to 5.5 million workforce at present.
Ray said a facility for auction of rough diamond will come up in Surat in a month's time.
To boost shipments from the sector, the Council is looking at establishing jewellery parks in major clusters across the country.
The jewellery park coming up in Mumbai will have more than 2,000 units and boost exports by $6-8 billion, Agarwal said. He said its construction will begin in 5 to 6 months and is expected to be completed in 3-4 years.