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Diwali Might Not Be All That Sparkly For Indian Diamond Workers
During the recently concluded World Diamond Congress in Mumbai, Indian diamond leaders spoke about the challenged that lie ahead of the Indian diamond industry. A lot of them observed that the year 2019 might be a tough year.
Recent hike in import duty on cut and polished diamonds might be one such challenge for the Surat Diamond Trade which has reportedly led to the business of re-cutting and redesigning shifting to competitors such as China and Thailand. The industry think tank has warned that the next two quarters might be the most crucial and there is a possibility of loss of one lakh jobs.
Apart from the hike in import duty, there are other challenges like Asian currency devaluation, slow overseas demand and shrinking bank credit, which are looming large over the diamond industry
The situation is quite ironical especially when recently Hari Krishna Exports distributed cars and fixed deposits to its employees as a part of company’s loyalty bonus program. While HK group diamond workers can spend their Diwali happily, there are a number of diamond cutters and polishers who have been rendered jobless in Surat, Bhavanagar, Rajkot, Amreli, Ahmedabad and Navsari in the last few months. According to Gujarat Diamond Workers’ Union 35 per cent of diamond workforce in Gujarat has lost job in the last few months. Also, there have been incidences of suicides and the workers taking to liquor due to joblessness.