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Hope in horizon for gem industry

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HIGH HOPES: Display of imported machinery for cutting and polishing synthetic gems attracted many industry stake-holders in Tiruchi on Wednesday.
HIGH HOPES: Display of imported machinery for cutting and polishing synthetic gems attracted many industry stake-holders in Tiruchi on Wednesday.

Staff Reporter

Imported automation machinery displayed under the aegis of STED project

TIRUCHI: A new dawn for the traditional synthetic gem industry in the Tiruchi region that ceded ground to technologically superior international competitors, particularly China, for over a decade now appeared imminent on Wednesday with the members of the Tamil Nadu Synthetic Diamond All Manufacturers' Association displaying a resolve to embrace the only option of automation for survival.

A display of automation machinery imported from China conducted by the manufacturers' association under the aegis of the Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development (STED) project of Tiruchi District Tiny and Small Scale Industries' Association attracted overwhelming participation of its members.

By integrating automation into the process of arriving at quality product, the manufacturers' association with 1,500 members hopes to multiply production capacity by ten times and attract with higher remuneration the erstwhile manpower that has migrated to other vocations, with training and mentoring support from TIDITSSIA for preparing project reports.

The members would be facilitated to make the most of the Prime Minister's Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) for revival of the industry, TIDITSSIA president S. Sridharan who inaugurated the exhibition said, adding that possibilities for obtaining bank loans through prospective women entrepreneurs on a cluster basis will be explored. There was scope for establishing a swanky common centre for displaying the manufactured products to attract buyers, Mr. Sridharan said.

According to Project Director of TIDITSSIA-STED Ramaswamy Desai, the scheme of the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises – Development Institute to provide six-week orientation programmes could be dovetailed for the training purposes.

Huge market

“There is a huge market for quality synthetic gems in India. The country has been importing it from China and European countries to meet escalating demand what with the product being increasingly used for garments and footwear. Standardisation of the product in the country that would be made possible by local manufacturers through automation will stand them in good stead to compete on the fronts of cost and quality as well,” said N.A. Lakshminarasimhan, President, All India Synthetic Gems Manufacturers' and Dealers' Association.

China visit

The machineries were imported after the a group of members of the beleaguered synthetic gem cutting and polishing industry went on a visit to China a couple of years back under the leadership of G. Tiruvenkadam to study the functioning of the automated industry.

Said the Advisor of the Tamil Nadu Synthetic Diamond All Manufacturers' Association who has been in the forefront of the modernisation campaign: “Through bulk production, the product cost could be reduced by 35 to 40 per cent paving way for the hitherto tottering industry in Tiruchi region to make a sound recovery and progress. The industrial policies of the Government have become conducive.”

Project Manager of District Industries' Centre Durai detailed the advantages inherent in PMEGP while senior manager of Indian Overseas Bank Janardanam said marketing tie-up would determine the success of the industry.

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