India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 19 called on his country’s diamond industry to aim at becoming an international trading centre and “preferred destination for manufacturing” rather than only a cutting and polishing hub.
“Our aim is to make India a preferred destination for [diamond] manufacturing. We are already a cutting and polishing hub. My intention is to make India an international diamond trading hub,” Modi said, addressing golden jubilee celebration of Gem Jewellery Export Promotion Council here through video-conference this evening.
As reported by The Times of India, the country has made rapid strides to become the world’s largest manufacturer and exporter of cut and polished diamonds.
“From just $28m in 1966-67, it has now reached $40bn. Our aim is to make India a preferred destination for manufacturing,” he said.
In the past 50 years, he added, the gems and jewellery sector has accounted for $475bn of exports despite not having domestic production of either gold or diamond. By giving employment to over 4.6m people, the industry is a major contributor to the government’s skill India initiative.
“Skill India initiative seeks to make sure that new attempts are made to ensure that the workforce has the necessary skills to contribute to the economy of the 21st century. The gems and jewellery sector employs 4.6m people, out of this, 1m are in the diamond industry alone. Thus the gems and jewellery sector is a prime example of the potential of Make-in-India and Skill India,” Modi said.