Indian Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu will formally launch a Gem & Jewellery Domestic Council on January 31. The move comes after a third and decisive meeting of 14 industry bodies including the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), the Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB), the India Bullion & Jewellers Association (IBJA), the All India Gems & Jewellery Domestic Council (GJC, formerly GJF) and the Association of Gold Refineries & Mints (AGRM), with the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) in Delhi on Wednesday.
The new domestic council will not have individuals as members, but instead represent the interests of the participating industry bodies that currently cater to a variety of specific segments. Bharat Diamond Bourse President Anoop Mehta observed, “The idea is to form an association of associations. The purpose of a single association having diverse representation from the entire value chain is to strengthen domestic manufacturing of jewellery and then to focus on exports of jewellery.”
Despite the launch at month’s end, the new domestic council will only really become functional after its structure is formalised and elections held to its representative posts. In the interim, an ad hoc committee has been constituted with GJEPC Chairman Pramod Agarwal as its convener.
The idea of a domestic council has been seriously discussed for some time now following the National Institution for Transforming India (known as the Niti Aayog) recommendations initially toward transforming the country’s gold market. The push is in line with the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative. The Commerce Ministry has prepared a structural outline for the new body and the ad hoc committee is now tasked with turning the idea into a reality.