Mumbai: Gems and jewellery export tanked by about 40 percent to USD 23.79 billion in the first quarter of current fiscal against USD 40 billion in the same period last year.
"The industry is going through some exceptional times which in no way is favourable to us. The export figures have nosedived by about 40 percent to USD 23.79 billion from USD 40 billion in June 2012 quarter," Vipul Shah, Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) Chairman, said here.
He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of India International Jewellery Show, which opened today.
Import restrictions imposed by the Government has affected jewellery exporters badly as they are unable to procure gold, he said.
Shah maintained that challenges faced by the sector are manifold.
Manufacturing activity has come to a near halt and has lost the profitability as the prices of polished diamonds are no more supported by the rising prices of roughs. Economies of Western countries (key export markets), including US, are sluggish, he said.
The jewellery industry is equally concerned about the widening current account deficit, Shah said.
"We are working closely with financial institutions, RBI, the Government and other stakeholders to monitor the situation and help the Government take practicable measures which provide a win win situation for everybody."
Direct sourcing of rough diamonds to India is a burning issue at the time of rising costs. Centres like Dubai have grown in no time with conducive policies by their Governments. The implementation of the recommendations of a task-force formed by our Government is essential to move in a positive direction as the jobs of 3.5 million of people are at stake, he added.
"We expect help from the Maharashtra Government in mitigating the difficulties in VAT refund. We are thankful to the State Government and the BMC for simplifying the octroi collection procedures and making the rates practical a year back," the GJEPC Chairman said.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan inaugurated the five-day jewellery show.
Speaking on the occasion, he said the Maharashtra Government has always endeavoured to promote the gem and jewellery sector in diamond cutting, innovation and design.
The recently announced five-year industrial policy in Maharashtra has created a lot of opportunities for companies wanting to get FDI either in export promotion zones or specialised industrial parks, Chavan said.
The 30th edition of IIJS has attracted participants from Bangladesh, China, Dubai, Hungary, Iran, Myanmar, Nepal, Azerbaijan, Russia, UK, Australia and Thailand besides India.
Around 30,000 visitors, both international and from India are expected to visit the show, Shah added.
First Published: Thursday, August 08, 2013, 21:20