Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Stating that the global financial crisis would see a meltdown in the diamond industry, Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh on Monday said that in the last month alone, some major primary producers of rough diamonds had reduced selling prices of most of their rough assortments by between 35 and 50 per cent.

“We must accept that in the next year or two, we will see tremendous volatility in rough diamond prices. Moreover, in the absence of perfect information flows, we see significant price differentials of rough traded in different countries,” Mr. Jairam said while addressing the Sixth Plenary of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme at the Vigyan Bhavan here. Diamond players and representatives from 74 countries have gathered for the first time to take part in the conference.

He said all nations had to accept that the problems associated with international settlements of monetary transfers among banks and the general tightening of available credit facilities would impact the diamond business and the flow of goods.

At the same time, Mr. Jairam said he was for direct procurement of diamonds by India.