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India's Gold policy will help in Global Expansion

The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) in India was set up by the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India (GoI) in 1966. It was one of several Export Promotion Councils (EPCs) launched by the Indian Government, to boost the country's export thrust, when India's post- Independence economy began making forays in the international markets. Since 1998, the GJEPC has been granted autonomous status.

It is the apex body of the gems & jewellery industry and today it represents almost 6,000 exporters in the sector. With headquarters in Mumbai, the GJEPC has Regional Offices in New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Surat and Jaipur, all of which are major centres for the industry. It thus has a wide reach and is able to have a closer interaction with members to serve them in a direct and more meaningful manner.

Over the past decades, the GJEPC has emerged as one of the most active EPCs, and has continuously strived to both expand its reach and depth in its promotional activities as well as widen and increase services to its members.

In an exclusive with The New Jeweller UAE bureau, Mr.Pramod Agrawal, Chairman, GJEPC opines on the recent Gold policies introduced by Indian government. He also talks on the developments regarding the implementation of the India Jewellery Park, and its advantages on the Indian jewellery export. Excerpts:

What is your opinion on the existent Gold policy in India? Do you think the policy will encourage the jewellery manufacturing sector?

GJEPC has been constantly working with the Indian govt. to introduce a comprehensive gold policy for the industry, and a single institution constituted to look into all the affairs of gold and related activities in the country. As you may be aware, recently Niti Aayog has come out with a report on expansion of the gem and jewellery market in India which details the contours of gold policy.

GJEPC was an integral part of the committee that worked for the compilation of report and the foremost organization which stated the need for a standardized Gold Policy and Gold Board to regulate such policy in India. As a trade our primary concern is availability of gold at the manufacturer and trade level at international prices. The Gold policy will address this concern and also help the Indian market to expand.

With the ongoing plans for a Gems and Jewellery Park near Mumbai - do you think it will help to substantially increase gold and jewellery exports from India?

Establishment of India Jewellery Park will contribute to the economic development of both Maharashtra and India, by facilitating investment, manufacturing, employment of manpower, trade & exports. This dynamic venture will provide effective support to Jewellery manufacturers/traders who are interested to expand or invest in the state of Maharashtra and the region to initiate new business or strengthen their existing business, benchmarking with the Jewellery Park created in countries like China. Turkey, Italy, Thailand, etc.

Moreover, Jewellery Parks would also attract new generation workers who are currently reluctant to join the industry because of its current working conditions. Jewellery park project is estimated to generate direct employment of around 1,00,000 workers for the State of Maharashtra. This will ultimately help the business to expand in the entire region of which UAE is also part of. A bulk of exports h a p p e n f r o m M u m b a i a n d j e w e l l e r y manufactured in the western part of India which will see a consolidation

The '7th edition of the Dubai Precious Metals Conference' is scheduled to be organised in Dubai. What is your opinion on the importance of Specific conferences like these for the Precious Metals sector?

The conference, which brings together all stakeholders from the industry, helps us to discuss the different aspects of the Precious Metals and understand the way forward for this industry. India would have a Comprehensive Gold Policy for its sector in the near future, and global Precious Metals sector will have important role to play in context to India. Such platforms would give us the knowledge and insights required to set up an industry that's at par with global standards. Dubai has successfully implemented the Gold Exchange and Dubai Good Delivery which can be a great learning to India also.