Gems and Jewelry sector is one of the most important sectors of the Indian economy, contributing about 7% to the country’s GDP and employing close to 5 million people. Due to the sector’s extensive dependence on imports, Covid-19 has disrupted the established supply chains severely. Muted international and domestic demand poses another challenge for the sector’s revival.
To help the G&J industry overcome the hurdles, Ministry of Commerce has undertaken multiple initiatives. Rupa Dutta, Economic Adviser, Ministry of Commerce, said:
“We are taking several necessary measures for promoting ease of doing business and enhancing exports. We look forward to setting a positive vibe for the sector and expect the industry personnel to imbibe the same positive spirit and put in lots of hard work.”
G&J industry falls under the luxury goods category and due to the current economic slowdown demand from the domestic sector is very feeble. Focus is thus on the global markets and export segment. Accordingly, a number of policies are being worked upon by the Ministry of Commerce in collaboration with various other bodies.
Ease of doing business
The ministry understands that government intervention is required to facilitate ease of doing business and reduce cost of operations. Ministry of Commerce is working diligently to create most effective SOPs and protocols for the sector. However, for smoothening the processes, several departments will need to work together. It would need risk management based customs clearances, end-to-end tracking, X-Ray scanning of all export packages, CCTV monitoring of customs clearance process and ensure complete accountability and transparency.
The ministry is trying to get a convergence of views and working hard to put people across departments in the same page and same platform in order to formulate and implement the new processes. When this is done, international E-Commerce would be much easier and faster. The focus is on US and EU markets with exports to the established brands like Tiffany and Cartier, where end-to-end tracking is possible.
G&J e-commerce is expected to receive huge boost due to Covid-19. The situation is right to foray into the high value addition export segments like studded jewelry, silver and fashion jewelry. The ministry is encouraging industry players to create better designs along with world-class branding and promotions. It is also assisting businesses with digital marketing guidance to help the industry in formulating new market strategies for the post Covid world.
Setting up CFCs
Ministry of Commerce is working in collaboration with G&J Export Promotion Council to set up Common Facility Centers or CFCs across India. In these centers, businesses can hire machines for manufacturing their products by paying a fee. CFCs are helping even the small businesses to manufacture superior quality products and become exporters.
Four CFCs are already operational in Gujarat and six more are in the pipeline. Mega CFCs are also being planned where end-to-end manufacturing with state-of-art modern technology will be made available to MSMEs. Mega CFCs will help in improving skill development and contribute largely in organizing the sector. These initiatives will help the industry to produce higher quality products and further strengthen India’s position in the global markets.
Due to Covid, the ministry has encouraged the idea of organizing virtual fairs and buyer-seller meets. The ministry has come up with a scheme of market assistance where several industry bodies give funds for holding and attending events and exhibitions abroad, to facilitate international trade.
Views expressed above have been taken from the inaugural keynote address of ET BJwelled, given by Rupa Dutta, Economic Adviser, Ministry of Commerce.