The wish list, as put forth by the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) before the government, is aimed to make sure that the gems and jewellery industry is pulled out from the recent crisis surrounding it due to the slump in demand from the US and also sharp rise in price of raw materials for almost a year now.
“Status holders should be allowed to import directly and sell gold to exporters. This will help alleviate the crisis of inequitable gold supply being faced by the industry and will also enable smaller exporters to fulfill their requirements of gold in smaller lots,” said GJEPC in its appeal to the government.
The overall exports of gem and jewellery at USD 987.10 million in the month of November 2008 has shown a decline of 34.25 per cent as compared to USD 501.27 million during the corresponding period last year.
“Increase of recently announced measure of rupee interest subvention from 2 per cent to 4 per cent and this facility to be extended to dollar credit,” added GJEPC. “Further, the government should release dollars from their dollar reserve for credits to the industry”
“The current practice of declaring an exporter’s account as NPA (Non Performing Asset) due to delayed collections and thereby bringing the rating down should be discontinued”, concluded GJEPC.
The suggestions have come at a time when figures suggest that in just three months (August – October, 2008); close to 65,000 workers engaged in the cutting and polishing business have lost their jobs due to the above mentioned reasons.
On the manufacturing font also, exports of cut and polished diamonds are down 10.18 per cent as compared to the same period last year. All this put together has resulted in an average reduction of over 20 per cent in orders for the period April-October 2008.
— IndiaRetailing Bureau, Mumbai