India Planning Diamond Hub in Mumbai

Nirmala Sitharaman
Nirmala Sitharaman

New Delhi: The government is discussing a plan to set up a special zone with tax benefits for diamond import and trading in Mumbai, to try and develop the country’s financial capital as a rival to Antwerp and Dubai, which are currently trading hubs for the precious stone, reports The Times of India.

Commerce & industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman held preliminary discussions with commerce secretary Rajeev Kher and revenue secretary Shaktikanta Das last week and asked officials to work out a possible road map, sources familiar with the development told TOI.

Gem & Jewelry Export Promotion Council’s (GJEPC) estimates suggest that in volume terms, 85% of the global cutting work takes place in India. At the same time, around 15% rough diamond is imported directly from the producing countries, while a majority is shipped in from the trading hubs.

“A trading hub in India will mean that the role of middlemen is limited and the concerns over invoicing, that we often hear from tax authorities, are reduced,” said Pankaj Parekh, Vice-Chairman of GJEPC, which is pushing the plan. Parekh said the Bharat Diamond Bourse in Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex has been suggested as a possible option.