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Eight Surat Cutting Units Return to Work

India records first polished exports since lockdown started.
May 4, 2020 8:04 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... India has resumed manufacturing and exports of gems and jewelry, as the country starts to ease its restrictions following five weeks of lockdown.

Eight production units in Surat, the country’s diamond-cutting hub, have begun operations at the city’s Special Economic Zone, the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) reported Thursday. Ten shipments of diamonds were exported from the Surat Hira Bourse to Hong Kong last Wednesday, the GJEPC continued.

The first shipment comprised diamonds worth INR 2 billion ($26.4 million) belonging to Mumbai-based manufacturer Shree Ramkrishna Exports, according to The Times of India. A second package of polished goods valued at INR 3 billion ($39.6 million) went from Surat to Hong Kong via Mumbai, the newspaper later reported.

Meanwhile, “a few” units in Jaipur, a city known for gemstone cutting, have also recommenced production and exports, the council said. Exports from businesses in Mumbai are set to start this week, added GJEPC vice chairman Colin Shah.

India entered a nationwide lockdown on March 24 to help contain the coronavirus, with the Surat manufacturing sector shutting completely. The government extended the rules on Friday for another two weeks, but allowed private offices to readmit 33% of their workers in high-risk “red” zones such as Mumbai and Surat.

The factories in question are “observing all safeguards and other prescribed norms,” the GJEPC added.

Image: Melee under inspection at De Beers Industry Group Services in Surat, India. (Ben Perry/Armoury Films/De Beers)
Tags: exports, Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council, GJEPC, Hong Kong, India, Jewelry, Manufacturing, mumbai, Polished Diamonds, Rapaport News, Shree Ramkrishna Exports, Special Economic Zone, SRK, Surat, Surat Hira Bourse
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