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Eximport Aces Honoured:
Mumbai to be Developed as a Global Diamond Trading Centre  -
Omar Abdullah

Mumbai, September 7. “The Government of India is facilitating development of Mumbai as a global diamond trading center. The setting up of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) will offer a great opportunity to increase gems and jewellery exports from India”, said Chief Guest Oman Abdullah, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, while inaugurating the 27th Annual Eximport Awards Function.
He said that the year 1999-2000 had been the best year of the decade for the diamond industry with India having risen to the status of world leader in processed diamonds. He urged the exporters to strive and overshoot the achievements of last year with at least 20 percent export growth during the current financial year. Exports from the gems and jewellery sector which consist of three sub-sectors namely, diamonds, gold jewellery and colored gemstones, had shown a growth of over 14 percent during April-July this year, which was quite satisfying. Now India must strive to further increase its share in the global market. He emphasized that with its share of over 55 percent in global trade of polished diamonds by value and with 9 out of every 10 diamonds in the world being produced in India, it was logical that India should become a global diamond trading center. The Government, he said, has taken several initiatives in the Exim Policy such as establishment of private/public bonded warehouses, the newly introduced Diamond Dollar Account Scheme etc., to facilitate the development of Mumbai as a global diamond trading center.
International Design Centre:

Referring to gold jewellery, which is the second important segment of the gems and jewellery industry, Abdullah announced that an International Jewellery Design Centre was proposed to be set up at Mumbai to meet the training and design development requirements of the industry.
The Minister also underlined the importance of promoting exports of branded jewellery items now that Assaying and Hallmarking facilities are available in India.
The Minister said that the Government would not permit any trading in ‘Conflict Diamonds’ in India.

48 Aces Honoured:
The Annual Awards function for the year 1999-2000 honored 48 aces for their outstanding eximport performance. Omar Abdullah presented trophies to them. Chhagan Bhujbal, Dy. Chief Minister, Maharashtra presided over the event.
The Awards Souvenir was released by Omar Abdullah. Chhagan Bhujbal released the IIJS Souvenir.
The Awards were given to the highest exporters of cut and polished diamonds, colored gems, synthetic gems and pearls, plain gold and studded jewellery, the highest importers of diamonds from India and to the banks for highest number of clients financed amongst the other categories.
Sanjay Kothari, Chairman, Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) said, “There are many new challenges before us. India is the largest cutting and polishing industry in the world. It employs the largest workforce. It exported diamonds worth US$ 6.7 billion with the value addition being US$ 2.34 billion in 1999-2000.
Kothari mentioned some of the difficulties being experienced and requested the Government that seizure of goods must be avoided, sales tax should be scrapped, RBI should withdraw penal interest rates on delayed payments and 80 HHC tax benefits should continue, to boost exports.

Mega Events IIJS Inaugurated :

The four-day 17th India International Jewellery Show (IIJS), the largest and foremost industry show in the country, being held at World Trade Centre, Mumbai from September 7 to 10, was inaugurated by Omar Abdullah, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry and Chhagan Bhujbal, Dy. Chief Minister, Maharashtra. The annual show organized by the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) since 1985, is a spectacular event.
Inaugurating the show Omar Abdullah and Chhagan Bhujbal, congratulated the Council for its significant role in boosting India’s exports and providing a platform for Indians to showcase and promote jewellery. Also present on the occasion were Consul Generals representing various countries and senior members of the Council.
The Chairman of GJEPC Sanjay Kothari said, “India is all set to acquire a sizeable share of the world jewellery market after attaining a bulk share in diamonds”.
During the four-day Show leading Indian and international manufacturers and designers of gems and jewellery will display their creations in plain and studded jewellery, diamonds and gemstones, pearls and silver. There is also a special section for specialized machinery used in the industry.
The winning designer pieces of De Beers Jewellery Designing Competitions are on display. The Council is also holding various technical and non-technical Seminars on the training facilities available in the country. A Career Fair has been organized for students. In addition, the Gate-2000 is also on display. It is a replica of the 3000 years old Lions’ Gate of the old City of Jerusalem – a magnificent creation sculpted out of platinum, gold and silver and adorned with, 2000 fantastic colored gemstones.


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