With 85% of India’s gems and jewellery industry classified as MSMEs, GJEPC aims to equip these smaller players to become export-ready by successfully pushing for a revamped e-commerce policy.
Could the revamping of India’s e-commerce policy be the magic elixir for the growth of the country’s gems and jewellery MSMEs? The GJEPC believes so.
Promoting gems and jewellery exports is the GJEPC’s raison d’être. For the past few years, the Council has been actively pursuing projects and policies that could lead to a manifold increase in India’s outbound gem and jewellery trade.
Aligning with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of making the smallest of towns and villages active participants in the country’s export efforts, the Council undertook a Herculean data-driven approach to identify areas that are actively engaged in the manufacture of gems and jewellery.
It’s well-known that India is a global leader in gems and jewellery. But given the amorphous nature of the industry, there was no verified database of the number of clusters, units, and workers that the industry employs. This also made it difficult for policymakers to reach out and promote the sector optimally, and harness its full potential. Therefore, the GJEPC took on the onus of identifying key clusters across the length and breadth of the country as one of the means of improving the sector’s export competitiveness. In 2019, the GJEPC commissioned the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) to evaluate these key industry characteristics, its competitiveness, and its employment potential.
Having been completed in October 2020, the pioneering Cluster Mapping study has identified 390 districts as gem and jewellery clusters. It also provides crucial data on the region-specific specialisations in gem and jewellery categories, the skills and technology used, supply chains, and contribution to the economy. The Council is now focused on transforming each of these clusters into self-actualised export hubs.
Considering the exponential growth in online sales during the pandemic, GJEPC has been relentlessly pursuing for an e-Commerce policy with Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and the Ministry of Commerce & Industry (MoC&I), and officials across various Government departments.
DPIIT under the leadership of Dr. Guruprasad Mohapatra, Secretary, recently held a meeting with GJEPC to review the progress on the policy and take the representation ahead.
Colin Shah, Chairman, GJEPC presenting the details of the policy said, “A revamped e-commerce policy will help thousands of manufacturers and lakhs of retailers across the 390 G & J clusters in India to utilise e-commerce platforms and reach out directly to overseas consumers. The exponential growth in online sales during the pandemic makes this all the more important and time-sensitive for our trade to benefit from this shift to digital platforms.”
“We are expecting a comprehensive e-commerce policy that will encompass ease in processes, hassle-free returns, seamless payments, speed of delivery, minimal cost, etc.” adds Shah.
The Department of Revenue has recently clarified through a notification dated 27th Nov 2020 that exports of gem and jewellery is permitted in Courier mode under the provisions of Courier import and exports (Clearance) Regulations 1998 and Courier Imports and Exports (Electronic Data & Processing) Regulations 2010.
The successful formulation of an e-commerce policy will herald the dawn of a new era for the Indian gem and jewellery industry. This move opens up a world of possibilities especially for MSMEs, as it will give them a level playing field to begin exports directly to global consumers.
The move reflects the GJEPC’s all-embracing and inclusive approach to push for progressive reforms that will help the industry achieve its long-term vision to become the epicentre for worldwide gems and jewellery needs. With a Central Government that is all geared up to facilitate e-commerce for the gem and jewellery industry, the sky’s the limit!