Apr 15, 2018

India Gemstone Week Inaugurated by Hon’ble Union Minister of State of C & I Shri C.R. Chaudhary

The India Gemstone Week, organised by The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), got underway today in Jaipur after being inaugurated by the Hon’ble Union Minister of State of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Shri C.R. Chaudhary.

Eighty-two buyers from 22 countries are gathered in Jaipur for a unique “business matching” programme. Over the next few days, they will interact with 36 manufacturers of coloured gemstones in one-to-one meetings over two days (April 15-16)  and on Tuesday, April 17,  will be an open day when buyers can move around and interact with companies with whom they have not met in the course of their  specially set up meetings on the earlier two days.

Speaking at the inauguration, Chairman GJEPC, Pramod Agarwal extended a hearty welcome to  the Chief Guest, the Hon’ble Shri Choudhary.

“Hon’ble Minister Shri Chaudharyji is a very humble and simple natured person,” Agarwal said. “He is always ready to help the industry.  Sir, we thank you for coming all the way from Delhi to grace this occasion.”

He went on to say: “Similarly, we are lucky to have a very supportive Minister in the Hon’ble Shri Suresh Prabhuji. He always listens patiently and solves the problems of the industry. The industry is grateful to have him.”

“The India Gemstone Week has been organised with the objective of  identifying  and developing new trade opportunities to  increase direct exports of gemstones to international markets,” Agarwal said.

The GJEPC Chairman then went on to give a brief picture of the various efforts of the GJEPC to promote the gems & jewellery trade.

He explained that India was the world leader in the field of cut & polished diamonds with a 70% share of the international market by value and a 93% share by volume; and that Jaipur was the world’s leading centre for cutting and polishing coloured gemstones; working with about 300 types of coloured gemstones. 

The gem & jewellery industry is a US$ 43 billion dollar one, contributes 7% to India’s GDP and 14% to its merchandise exports, and employs about 5 million people, he outlined.

 “The GJEPC is aligned to the Hon’ble PM’s dream and vision to create greater  employment opportunities,” Agarwal stressed. “We are actively working on  this front by setting up    Common Facility Centres, Jewellery Parks and expanding our network of the Indian Institute of Gems & Jewellery in order to skill  and upskill our workforce; and provide technological and infrastructure assistance to the entrepreneurs.”

The Chairman stressed: “Our industry is also involved in many CSR activities, which we see as very important.”

The Hon’ble Minister in his address said that Jaipur was not only the political capital of the   state of Rajasthan, it was also the gemstones capital of the world.  

He congratulated GJEPC Chairman for  organising events like the India Business Week, which  would promote the gems and jewellery industry, grow the business and thereby generate more employment.

“This sector contributes 7% to the country’s GDP and employs about five million people,” he said. “It is a major exporting item, and a very important industry.”

Sri Chaudhary went on to say: “The government, and especially the PM, is stressing investment,  both domestic and international. There are no barriers to foreign investors wishing to enter  India. The rules and  regulations have been relaxed and procedures   hav been simplified  to encourage investments. The  introduction of the GST, a single tax regime, is  also a significant reform which has been implemented.”

The  government was focussing on infrastructure, connectivity and communications, he noted.

“As a result of all the efforts on the part of the Government, India’s position has jumped up to 100 from 131 on the World Bank’s list of Ease of Doing Business ratings,” Shri Chaudhary stated.

He referred to  some  areas of concern for the gems and jewellery industry, including the 10% tax on gold imports, which he promised to look into. 

The Minister concluded by saying that the industry should stress quality without which it would be impossible to maintain its position in the international markets.

“The PM has given a call to all our manufacturing industries:  Zero Defect, Zero Effect,” the Minister said.  “This means we must remove any shortcomings in our products and  make sure the environment is not affected.”

Dilip Shah, Convenor of the International Exhibitions Sub-Committee of the GJEPC proposed the vote of thanks.

Pic Cap: Hon’ble Minister Shri C.R. Chaudhary speaking at the inauguration of the India Business Week flanked by Pramod Agarwal (rt) and Dilip Shah (left)