Bringing all the gold and glitz under one roof of Navi Mumbai and out of Zaveri Bazaar, the state and the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion council has signed a MoU at the ongoing Magnetic Maharashtra summit to develop India’s first jewellery park, a 25acre gems 25-acre gems and jewellery park at a cost of Rs. 13,500 crores.
GJEPC chairman Praveenshankya Pandya said “This will bring order to the highly scattered sector and boost exports,”.
The design of the jewellery park will be inspired by the Shenzhen model in China.
The park that is most likely to be built in Ghansoli will have 4,500 units and will employ around 1 lakh people. Also, the craftsmen who’ll be running their business in this park will be provided housing. Though, this plan has raised some doubts among some craftsmen and artisans as many traders have moved to a diamond bourse in BKC from their south Mumbai units.
Union commerce and industry minister Suresh Prabhu said the focus will be on increasing exports in the next decade. The goal of the government is to increase gems and jewllery exports from the current Rs. 2.8 lakh crore a year Rs. 4 lakh crores by 2022.
Currently, gems and jewellery—a labour intensive sector—contributes 15% to India’s total exports.“From gold refining to making jewellery to getting clearances from Customs for exports, all will be done at this hub. It will be one-stop for all gems and jewellery transactions so that transparency is ensured,” said Pandya,
He also said that raw material will be made available through authorized agencies to weed out smuggled gems and gold.
Kalidas Sinha Roy, general secretary of the Bengali Swarna Shilpi Kalyan Sangha in Zaveri Bazar, said, “The government only consults the top of the pyramid, the cream of jewellers and designers while taking such major decisions. It does not talk to ‘lowly’ craftsmen. How can we shift our polishing units and ornament manufacturing units to Ghansoli unless the traders and jewellers of Zaveri Bazar move too? We live and work in pigeonhole-sized rooms in this locality because it is risky to transport gold and finished jewellery over long distances. Moreover, which of us can afford to buy space in the gold-diamond park at Ghansoli? We can barely rent 150 sq ft sweatshops in Zaveri Bazar where we house eight craftsmen at once.”