Ministry of Commerce & Industry has taken a host of initiatives at the grassroots level for increasing the efficiency and empowering the MSMEs of the Indian gem and jewellery industry. Apart from introducing trade-friendly policies for the sector, the Ministry has also in the process of facilitating the industry through creation of infrastructure in the form of Common Facility Centres (CFCs). Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council has stared the work of its first Gem & Jewellery Common Facility Centre in Kolkata.
As part of that exercise, recently the ground-breaking ceremony of Bow Bazar, Kolkata was held in the presence of Rupa Dutta, Economic Adviser, MoC&I, Pramod Agrawal, Chairman, GJEPC, Prakash Pincha, Regional Chairman, Kolkata, GJEPC, Senthilnathan, Deputy Secretary, MoC&I, Sabyasachi Ray, Executive Director along with office bearers of Swarno Shilpo Bachao Committee (SSBC) and others.
CFC at Bow Bazar will enhance the productivity and quality of products, especially the small gem and jewellery units set in Bow Bazar and its surrounding areas by introducing cutting edge technology in jewellery manufacturing amongst fringe karigars of the industry in the Kolkata gem & jewellery cluster. It will benefit a lakh of jewellery handmade workers.
Setting up of CFCs across the country will help the marginal workers to upgrade their product quality and output have been carried out through Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) with the help of Local Trade Association (LTA) of the respective manufacturing hubs.
The Council has already set up CFCs at major diamond clusters like Amreli, Palanpur, Visnagar and Junagadh in the state of Gujarat, which are already operational and proved to be very helpful for process reengineering and empowering the trade. The work for jewellery CFC at Coimbatore is in progress and is expected to be completed by March 2020.
Rupa Dutta, Economic Advisor, Ministry of Commerce & Industry said, “Exports of gem and jewellery accounts for USD 40 billion annually. The industry has a huge potential to grow. Our target is to take the exports to USD 75 billion by 2025.”
“CFC is one of the initiatives to enhance the productivity and quality of products of our MSME units. The concept of CFCs is ideal as small units can now get easy access to capital-intensive cutting edge technology to process their products which are beyond investment capacity of small scale individual jewellery manufacturing unit holders,” she added.
Currently, the small units located in small towns and operated by artisans/goldsmith generally undertake the work on job work basis from wholesale jewellery manufacturer/retail jewelers. They are using old technology to manufacture the jewellery. Usage of technology such as casting technology, finishing techniques such as tumbling, magnetic polisher etc. are found only in some of the units. Bench work is also carried out by using old techniques. In 2-tier cities like Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Rajkot and interior villages are still operating in with the old technology, and this has affected the quality of the finished goods produced.
The CFCs will empower the trade and increase overall productivity, yield and timely delivery. It will make the trade self-sustainable by offering all types of services to meet the requirements of their clients under one roof. CFCs will be instrumental to generate more revenue for the SMEs and will be a proven tool for Socio-economic transformation of the region. The jewellery CFC at Kolkata which is being set up will help the local handmade jewellery sector to upgrade the value addition.
Other than SSBC (on whose premises the CFC is being set up), representatives from Howrah Jewellers Association, Calcutta Jewellers Association, Bangiyo Swarno Shilpi Samity were also present to witness this memonetous happening for the local trade. As part of this visit the team from the Union Commerce Ministry led by Shri Rupa Dutta also visited the imitation jewellery cluster in Singur to explore its potential in exports from the region. The CFC at Kolkata is expected to be commissioned in April, 2020.