Jul 31, 2017

GJEPC Chairman Says Modernisation of Jewellery Sector is Key to Further G&J Export Growth

Spurring the modernisation of the jewellery manufacturing segment by setting up a pan-India network of jewellery parks will be the key to growth in jewellery exports over the next five years, GJEPC Chairman Praveenshankar Pandya said at a media briefing during the India International Jewellery Show (IIJS Premiere 2017) which concluded in Mumbai today.

Pandya said that he would shortly be meeting the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi to present the VISION 2022 document drawn up by the Council which contains a road map to attain the US$ 60 billion export target set for the industry by the government. “One of our key suggestions is for the establishment of Jewellery Parks in or around all the major jewellery manufacturing centres of the country,” he said.

The parks are conceptualized as ‘one-stop’ shops providing not just modern infrastructure for manufacturing, but easy access to raw materials and other ancillaries, as well as the required support services.  “As we envisage them, they will provide end-to-end solutions, from refineries and trading bourses to common facility centres as well as banks, labs and logistics services,” he elaborated, adding, “and a centralized administration that will be a single window for all documentation, permissions, etc. ”

Pointing out that “India already employs a larger number of workers in jewellery manufacturing than any other global centre”, he said, “by providing them with the infrastructure and upgraded skills, exports of jewellery can rise significantly.”

Since “no industry can work in isolation in today’s globalised world”, Pandya said that GJEPC would also set up institutes within the parks to impart training in design and merchandising skills so that Indian manufacturers could get aligned with the needs of various global markets.

A detailed outline of this proposal and plans for other segments have also been included in the Vision document, Pandya said, stating that GJEPC hopes to formalize plans and commence work on the first Jewellery Park near Mumbai very soon.

During the interaction, Pandya also commented on the new GST regime which he described as “one of the most important tax reforms for the country, which will have a very positive overall impact on the economy.”

Once “teething problems” are overcome, it will build on the benefits accruing from the earlier demonetisation. “We are seeing much greater transparency in the trade now, more than we ourselves could bring in, with most of the transactions in the diamond industry shifting to e-payment modes.”

Expressing confidence that clarifications on smaller procedural issues that have come up will be announced soon, he said that Council is also hopeful that some relief for exporters on issues of the tax on inter-state trade and the ‘pay now, claim refund’ process would be forthcoming in the next few months.

GJEPCs decision to enhance its contribution towards the generic promotion campaigns being undertaken by the DPA was an expression of support for the major increase in the latter’s budget for 2017. “We look forward to their increasing it even more in the future, and will be happy to contribute towards such an effort again,” he stated.

“Manufacturers saw a slight improvement in the premiums during last year, which is an indication of better demand,” Pandya said, but added that in India, the impact was less quantifiable as the temporary slowdown in trade in the immediate aftermath of demonetisation coincided with the Indian promotions undertaken by GJEPC and De Beers.