Surat (Gujrat), June 28 (ANI): As the government gears up to present this year's union budget, the recession-hit diamond cutting industry is looking forward to some sops, which could bail it out from the economical rough waters.
Traders in Surat, nation's diamond hub, said they are anticipating some tax relief in the budget.
"The interest rate in finance should be reduced and to reduce the diamond manufacturing cost to help competing in international market with Israel and China, all the service and custom taxes and other taxes should be removed and there should be given at least two years of waiver from the income tax," said Praveen Nanavati, Joint Secretary of Gujarat Heera Bourse.
The Surat diamond industry is worth 800,000 million rupees and accounts for more than half of the total diamond exports from India.
It employs more than 700,000 workers from across the country. Over 2.5 million people are indirectly associated with the trade.
Many workers involved in the diamond cutting industry had committed suicide in the past due to global recession hitting their profession.
"I believe that of all industries in India, gems and jewellery is the most important and the industry does a total export of 22 percent i.e 800 million annually but due to recession this industry has incurred heavy losses and so we hope that the government will make provisions in the budget for us and would ensure that the diamond business remains in India," observed Chandrakant Singhvi, Chairman of Gujarat State Chapter, Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council.
The diamonds processed in Surat are sent to various parts of the world including the Middle East from where manufactured jewellery is then sold across the globe.
The United States, one of the largest markets for diamonds and other gemstones, imports 60 percent of diamonds cut and processed in Surat.
But these imports have come down by half due to deep economic crisis that America is currently reeling under. (ANI)