The gold and diamond trade together accounts for 7.5 per cent of the country's GDP and 14 percent of the country's total exports. About 60 lakh people are employed in this sector. Therefore, the government should take steps to facilitate comprehensive development of the grade trade sector so that it can continue to play a pivotal role in the growth of the economy.
Once the Covid-19 pandemic took hold, the industry was expected to see a third shaved off its top-line this fiscal. However, this could now get arrested at around 20%. Sluggish demand and extended lockdowns globally saw exports plunge to $5.5 billion in the first half, almost halving on-year. In the third quarter, however, exports have risen to an estimated monthly average of $1.6 billion, setting the industry up for a tryst with the $15 billion mark for the full year.
This will be followed with store launches in Delhi in January, and Mumbai within the next six months. The stores, which will primarily be located in malls and high streets across India, will range from 500-1,500 sq ft in size and showcase 500-1,000 jewellery designs.
At the inaugural ceremony of 5-day e-IGJS organised by GJEPC, the minister stated that the trade fair at an ideal time as demand for gems and jewellery from all of the major markets is picking up with the rollout of vaccines against COVID-19, which has already started in India.
The overall gross export of gems and jewellery remains strong and registered a growth of 6.33 per cent to USD 2.49 billion during December 2020 as compared to USD 2.35 billion in the corresponding month of 2019, a senior GJEPC official said.
The designer's virtual store will allow the customers to take a walkthrough of the Delhi flagship store spanning over 15,000 sq. ft. The design house said the virtual tour is built with online navigation systems and custom configurations and customers can walk through the aisles, zoom in on the products, and get the details of the item.
Once the travel restrictions were eased and online transactions picked up simultaneously, exports of diamond from India picked up. Also, domestic demand too started picking up since Diwali and Dhanteras.
If hallmarking is not done by the deadline, jewellers will not be able to continue their business. Small jewellers in tier 2 and tier 3 cities and in rural areas are particularly vulnerable while large organised retail chains stand to gain.
Units for gems stone processing, plating, casting, chain making, die cutting etc. have been set up at the CFC. A 6 months training would also be imparted on Assamese jewellery making to interested youths in the facility.
On the business front, demand for gems and jewellery picking up in all major export markets. Jewellery was the highest selling luxury product in China in 2020 and on the Thanksgiving Day spending in the US rose by nearly 22 per cent year-over-year to USD 5.1 billion, hitting a new record, GJEPC Chairman Colin Shah said.
All asset classes barring gold require KYC documents for any transaction. But in the case of gold, one needs to submit KYC documents if he or she buys gold worth Rs 2 lakh or more. The govt has been trying to make gold as an asset class at par with stocks, mutual funds and real estate.
The board also appointed Saiyam Mehra as the vice chairman. He said "There is a need for the industry to become more organized and compliant. GJC will continue to create better and newer platforms for the industry”.
Gold had touched a high of Rs 56,000 per 10 gms in August and a section of analysts feel that the yellow metal might even go up to Rs 65,000 if the mass distribution of Covid-19 vaccine was not smoothly carried out and geopolitical tension between the US and China escalated.
Jhalani, 58, is the founder of Janavi India, a Rs 150 crore business, which sends out some of the biggest orders of luxury shawls across the world. Top luxury brands like Chanel, Dior, Emporio Armani, Burberry, Ferragamo and Fendi source cashmere shawls and lines from her.