India’s Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJPEC) has announced that it will set up a Common Facility Centre (CFC) for the jewellery industry in the city of Thrissur in Kerala. The centre, one of many that have been opened by the GJEPC around the country, will allow small and medium enterprises that cannot afford their own equipment or facilities, to access the latest design software, casting and finishing equipment for jewellery manufacture.
GJEPC Chairman Praveenshankar Pandya, who was in Thrissur to inaugurate the Kerala Jewellery show, observed, “To achieve our vision of $60 billion in gem & jewellery exports by 2022, we need to provide this industry with the best possible infrastructure and modern facilities. These would be beneficial especially to small units across the southern region of the country.”
He added, “It would be fitting to set up a CFC like the ones we have set up elsewhere, in Thrissur, which is a major jewellery production cluster area. I am sure that such a set-up in Thrissur would definitely enhance the quality and output of jewellery in the entire Southern region.”
Pandya, who had previously set out his vision for the growth of the Indian industry, reiterated that to make the Indian industry ‘jewellers to the world’, it needs to have jewellery parks with modern facilities, design studios, onsite customs offices, training institutions and the like in every nook and corner of the country.
Currently India’s jewellery manufacturing units are located in traditional clusters like Mumbai’s Zaveri Bazaar all around the country. These clusters are able to sell jewellery domestically, but to compete in international markets, their design quotient and quality have to be upped exponentially.
Calling for more policy changes, Pandya said, “The $ 43 billion gem & jewellery export industry is contributing around 7 percent to India’s GDP today while it works with ad hoc gold policies. The GJEPC has urged the government to bring in structured polices for gold and jewellery.”
Elaborating on this, Pandya noted, “There is a need for one authority who not only monitors imports, but also follows consumption for investment purposes and for use in jewellery-making. Gold should be regarded as a monetary instrument for the former use, while for the latter, it should be viewed as a commodity. Gold that has been manufactured into jewellery also generates employment. This segment should be encouraged, while investment in primary gold should be discouraged.”