Slowdown affects jewellery exports

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Despite global economic slowdown, the Indian gem and jewellery industry recorded a 1.45 per cent growth in exports in 2008-09 at $21.11 billion. However, in rupee terms the growth was 13.52 per cent at Rs. 95,092 crore. Due to the ongoing global economic slowdown, around two-lakh workers have so far lost their jobs, mostly in exported-oriented units in Gujarat.

The growth in the sector was primarily driven by gold jewellery which registered an increase of 24 per cent where exports stood at $6.85 billion. However, cut and polished diamonds (CPD) shipments witnessed a decline of 8.24 per cent at $13 billion. Volume of CPD exported in 2008-09 stood at 40.2 million carats as compared to 43 million carats in the previous year. The sector witnessed a decline of 19 per cent in exports in the second half of the last fiscal. Releasing the trade figures here, Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) Chairman Vasant Mehta said, “Slowdown in the U.S. in the second half of 2009 affected the industry greatly and the gems and jewellery sector witnessed a drop in exports”.

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