Driving the “Make in India” agenda to push up factory output and create more jobs, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday urged the diamond industry in Surat to take a lead in making the country as number one in the gems and jewellery sector.
India’s net gems and jewellery exports, which were at $32 billion during 2015-16 , is expected to have grown faster in 2016-17, as demand from major markets like Gulf, US and Europe showed signs of pick-up.
“As far as the gems and jewellery sector is concerned our aim should not only be Make in India but also Design in India,” Modi said at a public function at Surat, the diamond hub of the country.
“Enough of just diamond cutting and polishing work. The country has expectations from Surat. Should the country have it or not?” Modi asked after inaugurating a diamond cutting unit of a gems and jewellery firm.
“Surat has made a mark in the diamond industry but can we now look at the entire gems and jewellery sector,” he added.
He said the jewellery designed in the country needs to be promoted across the globe.
“Our jewellers have worked hard over the generations to design jewellery as per the seasons and moods. Our traditional jewellery designs have the potential to attract customers across the world,” he said.
“Enough of just diamond cutting and polishing. We need to make consumers across the globe interested in ‘designed in India’ jewellery,” Modi said.
“You can ask for any help from my government (in achieving this goal),” he told the diamond barons of Surat.
Despite Surat being India’s diamond cutting and polishing hub, the jewellery is made elsewhere owing to which the merchants here get less profit.
The Prime Minister was speaking after inaugurating a diamond polishing unit of Hari Krishna Exports at ‘Hira Bourse SEZ’ in Icchapore village on the city’s outskirts.
The gems and jewellery sector plays a significant role in the Indian economy, contributing around 6-7% of the country’s GDP.
Based on its potential for growth and value addition, the government of India has declared the gems and jewellery sector as a focus area for export promotion.
The government has undertaken various measures to promote investments and to upgrade technology and skills to promote ‘Brand India’ in the international market.
India is deemed to be the hub of the global jewellery market because of its low costs and availability of high-skilled labour. India is the world’s largest cutting and polishing centre for diamonds.
Moreover, India exports 95% of the world’s diamonds, as per statistics from the Gems and Jewellery Export promotion Council (GJEPC).