The GJEPC made a representation on the key focus areas pertaining to gems and jewellery to the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sector to Shri. Nitin Gadkari, Minister of MSME, Government of India, on 6th August.
Through a virtual meet, Colin Shah, GJEPC Chairman, and Vipul Shah, GJEPC Vice Chairman, briefed Shri. Gadkari about the various initiatives proposed and planned by the Council to boost the MSME exporters from the sector.
India is the 5th largest exporter of gems and jewellery in the world with exports accounting for $36.73 billion. It is a labour-intensive industry, employing 37.3 lakh. By facilitating the infrastructure and policy reforms, the industry has the potential to grow its exports to around $70 billion.
Colin Shah said, “Almost 85% (5,931) of the Council members fall under the MSME category, and most of them are involved in the manufacture of handmade gold jewellery, cutting and polishing of diamonds, precious and semi-precious stones and imitation jewellery. The gems and jewellery industry is highly labour-intensive and export-oriented, and a comprehensive financial package of Rs.900 crore has been proposed to the Hon’ble Minister. GJEPC has plans to set up a Model Manufacturing Workshop, and is focusing on upgradation of Skill Development Programmes. The introduction of Technology Upgradation Fund (TUF) will benefit the MSME sector by enabling clusters to infuse advanced technology, which, in turn, would augment productivity, reduce costs, improve quality and spur innovation. This will also make MSMEs ready for global competition.
The Council also discussed the challenges faced by the MSMEs to get finance and the need for Brand Promotion, showcasing India as one-stop shop for quality diamonds, gems and jewellery globally. A holistic approach for developing the MSMEs in the sector would help the sector move to the next level of growth.”
Shri. Nitin Gadkari said that the industry is important for the economy of the country, and the sector has great potential to scale new heights in the future.
Colin Shah informed the Minister that the MSMEs would benefit through its multiple initiatives comprising Infrastructure Development Projects such as the Mumbai Jewellery Park and Gem Bourse in Jaipur, which would give our karigars better working conditions and state-of-the-art facilities. Common Facility Centres have been already set up in four clusters in Gujarat and are running successfully. Some more CFCs are in the process of being established in Coimbatore, Kolkata, Delhi, Rajkot, Jaipur and Hyderabad in the near future.
With regard to the challenges in financing faced by the sector, Shri. Gadkari said, “Under CGTME Rs.1 lakh crore grant is available, and it is a collateral-free loan. This will resolve many problems of the MSME sector.”
Various other initiatives taken by the Ministry include:
The Ministry is in the process of launching the SME platform of National Stock Exchange for small- and medium-sized companies with high growth potential. The SME platform of the Exchange shall be open for SMEs whose post issue paid up capital shall be less than or equal to Rs.25 crore. The platform is expected to offer a new and alternate asset class to informed investors having a longer investment horizon. The platform shall allow new, early stage ventures and small quality companies to raise much needed growth capital as they grow, mature and transit to the Exchanges’ main board.
The Ministry has launched a web portal CHAMPIONS to help the smaller units grow by resolving their grievances, encouraging, supporting, and hand holding them. It is a one-stop-shop solution of the MSME Ministry.
Social Banking Finance Institute has been set up by the Ministry to provide small loans to karigars so that they can buy machines and manufacture or produce from their homes to earn a living.
The GJEPC has been the voice of the sector for resolving the challenges related to finance, policy, etc. So far, the Council has conducted 155 seminars or workshops for MSMEs across 11 states and 34 cities.