The budget announcement on Friday to set up a centre of excellence for synthetic diamonds in Surat has been welcomed by the diamond industry leaders. They said that the move will boost the development of technology and skills in the synthetic diamond sector, which is growing rapidly in India and globally.
Finance minister Kanu Desai allocated Rs 7 crore for small and medium scale industries and synthetic diamond development in his speech. He also said that the government will provide more support to the gem and jewellery industry in the future. The industry is facing challenges due to the global slowdown and the decline in demand for natural diamonds.
Vijay Mangukiya, regional chairman of Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), said that the centre of excellence will help create an expert workforce for synthetic diamond manufacturing. He also urged the government to launch a housing scheme for diamond industry workers, who are mostly migrants from other states.
Dinesh Navadiya, chairman of Indian Diamond Institute (IDI), said that he was happy with the Rs 7 crore allocation for the centre of excellence, but he hoped for an additional Rs 5 crore for the expansion of IDI. He said that IDI is a premier institute for research and training in the diamond industry, and it needs more funds to upgrade its facilities and courses.
Jayanti Savaliya, president of Surat Jewellery Manufacturer Association (SJMA), said that the budget announcement was a good step for the growth of synthetic diamond industry, which is more affordable, ethical and eco-friendly than natural diamonds. He also demanded a common facility centre (CFC) for the jewellery industry, which will help small jewellery makers to access advanced equipment and technology.
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