Gems & jewellery sector pares outstanding debt by 26% to $7.75 billion

The GJEPC expects that if the current trend of exports continues, it will end the year with $20-21 billion of shipments.

Published - December 11, 2020 05:49 pm IST - Kolkata:

The gems and jewellery sector in the country has reduced its outstanding debt by 26% to $7.75 billion in a period of 18 months ending October this year, a senior official said on Friday.

The industry has faced difficulties in securing institutional credit in the wake of a few bank fraud cases, and the disruption due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic forced jewellers to opt for an “efficient management” of their finances, Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) chairman Colin Shah said.

“The gross bank debt of India’s gems and jewellery industry has reduced by a healthy rate of 26% from $10.44 billion in March 2019 to $7.75 billion in October 2020,” he said.

According to analysts, profit margins will improve with more turnover and falling raw material and other overhead costs.

“No major delinquency has been reported in the industry during the COVID-19 pandemic, reflecting better compliance within the sector and growing awareness for self- regulation,” Mr. Shah said.

The GJEPC expects that if the current trend of exports continues, it will end the year with $20-21 billion of shipments.

Exports have slowly been improving, he said, adding that the total shipment was down by 26.45% in September and by 19% in October.

The decline was recorded at just 3.88% in November as compared to the same month last year. India has the potential to scale up its exports to $75 billion and its share in the world market to 15% from 5.8% at present, the official said.

The $36-billion gems and jewellery export industry employs about five million people, contributes 7% to the country’s GDP and 13.75% to the total merchandise exports in the financial year 2020, the council said.

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