Apex industry body ASSOCHAM has urged the government to grant an industry status to the gems and jewellery (G&J) sector and proposed a 7-pronged strategy for arresting the continuous fall in G&J exports.
This will have a multiplier effect and result in increasing demand for gems and jewellery which will have a vital and positive impact on output, employment, value addition and indirect tax collections," noted the study titled ‘Gems & jewellery industry.
According to the survey, overall exports from gems and jewellery sector in India during the first six months of fiscal 2015-16 stood at $19.22 billion and registered a decline of 5.59 per cent over the $20.3 billion exported in the same period last year.
"Gems and jewellery sector might register a decline of about 15 per cent in wake of severe economic downturn in major export markets of China and the Eurozone," said Mr D.S. Rawat
"Granting industry status can give a fillip to investments and bring down costs of operation in gems and jewellery sector, besides it will help build trust and faith in Indian brands in the global markets and in achieving goals of Make in India," said Mr Rawat.
"It is most imperative for the government to assess the potential impact of regulations on employment, exports and value addition before imposing various restrictions on the gems and jewellery sector."
"The average salary in Indian gems and jewellery sector at Rs 2.52 lakh per annum is perhaps the lowest amid manufacturing industries like pharmaceuticals (Rs 5.09 lakh), capital goods (Rs 4.94 lakh), electronics (Rs 4.43 lakh), chemical (Rs 3.97 lakh), automotive (Rs 3.77 lakh), construction material (Rs 2.88 lakh), metal and metal products (Rs 2.54 lakh)," highlighted the study.
Shortage of skilled labour, use of primitive technology, poor wages, fall of rupee against major currencies, ever-changing consumer behaviour, absence of a single-dedicated association, lower value addition, limited innovation and others are certain key challenges being faced by the gems and jewellery sector in India, the report said.