A three-day international conference and exhibition on gem and jewellery began in Surat on Saturday with chief minister Narendra Modi rejecting demands for any concessions to the city’s beleaguered diamond processing units.
Addressing the inaugural session of the event, titled Sparkle, Modi disappointed Surat’s diamond unit owners by rejecting their demand for concession in electricity tariff to revive the meltdown-hit industry.
Modi said the owners of diamond units had invested their profits into the real estate sector and now passed on the burden of the recession to their workers by rendering them jobless.
Earlier this week, Gujarat had written to the Centre seeking several concessions for the stste’s meltdown affected diamond industry, which accounts for nearly 72 per cent diamond processing in the world.
The country currently earns foreign exchange of Rs 70,000 crore from gem and jewellery exports.
Apart from deliberating the issues facing the gem and jewellery industry, the event would also have sessions on technology advancements, market trends and future of the sparkling trade. The exhibition has nearly 70 stalls displaying gems and jewellery from international players in the trade.
Meanwhile the FICCI, co-organiser of the meet, has urged the Centre to grant certain concessions to the gem and jewellery industry.