Goldsmiths seek support to restart production

A hand operated machine in Coimbatore used to make gold wires for jewellery needs repair as it was not used during the lockdown period.

A hand operated machine in Coimbatore used to make gold wires for jewellery needs repair as it was not used during the lockdown period.   | Photo Credit: M_PERIASAMY

Goldsmiths in Coimbatore district, mainly the small-scale operators, have urged the government to support them with funds to restart jewellery production.

S.M. Kamalhasan, president of Coimbatore Goldsmith Association, told The Hindu on Sunday that many of the goldsmiths have small-scale units with hand operated machinery to cut gold wires, make plates, solder, melt gold, etc and they take up job works.

Nearly 60,000 such units here, employing 1.5 lakh workers, are unable to function fully because the machines need repairing.

“Not even 10 % of these machines are operated now. With more than a month of lockdown, the machinery remained unused and are not functioning properly now, and the wirings are also damaged. In the case of expensive machinery, service personnel from the manufacturing company should come and have a look. The tools used by the gold smiths have rusted and they need to buy new ones. Hence, though the government has permitted operation of the gold smithies, very few units are functioning,” he said.

Further, Coimbatore being the third largest gold jewellery making hub in the country, most of the jewellery are sold in other cities and States.

With inter-district movement of people restricted and without public transport system, the goldsmiths will not be able to sell the jewellery outside Coimbatore.

“We have appealed to the jewellery traders to support us by extending advance amount. We also want the government to assist us,” Mr. Kamalhasan said.

The goldsmiths are unable to benefit from MUDRA loan and hence the government should take steps to ensure the jewellery sector gets the MUDRA loans. “We do not need capital to invest in machinery. We need working capital,” he said.

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Printable version | Jun 1, 2020 9:19:26 AM |

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