'Vision 22' to Make India Global Jewellery Hub

Pravinshankar Pandya

Mumbai: “India’s vision is to become global jewellery hub by the end of 2022 and accordingly a strategical plan has been drawn. We have also outlined a plan to increase our exports by about 40% over the next five years,” said Mr. Praveenshankar Pandya, chairman of the country’s Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC).

The council has prepared a document titled “Vision 2022” to be submitted to the Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi, laying out the steps necessary to grow the industry’s annual exports to $60 billion from its current level of $43 billion, Pandya said at a press conference during the India International Jewellery Show (IIJS) in Mumbai.

One of those measures is to improve the industry’s infrastructure by creating jewellery parks across the country, which would serve as “one-stop” locations for the entire production process. The first is planned for Mumbai, he added.

Other aspects of the program include modernizing smaller jewellery manufacturers’ equipment, enhancing the industry’s design capabilities by collaborating with international designers, and improving its merchandising.

Following a meeting of representatives from industry bodies and other representatives, Mr. Pandya announced the establishment of an International Diamond Monitoring Committee in a bid to eliminate the problem of undisclosed mixing of lab-grown diamonds which has been mostly reported in India.

As a result, the GJEPC will be offering its members to pay half the cost of machines that can detect whether a diamond is lab-grown following consultations on which machines can best achieve that aim due to the large number of machines on the market, he said.

Mr. Pandya clarified that he was not against trading in synthetic stones, but that there needed to be a clear distinction between lab-grown and natural, mined diamonds in order to ensure that consumer confidence worldwide was not damaged.

The committee’s members – who are from the main diamond centers and who will hold their next meeting at the September edition of the Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair – also discussed the need for clear nomenclature for synthetic stones and separate import/export codes, he said.