CM promises support to diamond and gold industries

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Mumbai, Nov 2 (UNI) ''Whatever help you need, we are prepared, provided we have constant dialogue,'' promised Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh to industry captains at the fourth International Diamond and Gold Convention organized by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industries of India (ASSOCHAM) here today.

Agreeing that requests for a cut in tax and octroi were ''valid'', Mr Deshmukh said that supporting the two industries will be kept in the forefront and the government will do its best to prevent companies in diamond and gold industries from moving to other states as it generated employment especially among women.

He added that while Maharashtra had 281 diamond cutting units, neighbouring Gujarat, another important diamond trading hub, only had 110 units.

Mr Deshmukh also agreed to support the industries' request for a convention centre by allotting land.

India is the world's biggest consumer and importer of gold at 800 tonnes per annum and despite having nine per cent of the world's gold and diamond deposits, the country has very little influence in its global pricing.

UNI

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