Sunday, August 28, 2011

Small diamond cutting & polishing centres to become tech savvy

Like the world's biggest diamond cutting and polishing centre in Surat, small diamond cutting and polishing centres across the state are all set to become tech savvy. Soon, small players in these diamond centres would get an opportunity to increase their productivity and quality of work by using hi-tech technology in diamond cutting and jewellery making.

Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) has proposed a project under the central government's ASIDE scheme for setting up common facility centres to provide direct access to hi-tech machines and equipment and training to diamantaires in Ahmedabad, Amreli, Bhavnagar, Junagadh, Visnagar, Mehsana, Jasdan, Khambhat, Mahuva, Palanpur-Deesa, Banaskantha, Palitana, Satalasana and Ugamedi.

A proposal for Rs 40 crore project for setting up common facility centres in Gujarat and centres of excellence in Surat and Navsari has been submitted to cCentral Government for approval under the Assistance to States for Developing Export Infrastructure and Allied Activities (ASIDE) scheme.

Gujarat is the world's biggest diamond cutting and manufacturing centre in the world processing Rs 80,000 crore worth of polished diamonds per annum. Surat is the biggest diamond manufacturing centre contributing about 80 per cent of the diamond manufacturing business, while the rest is done in the small diamond cutting and polishing across the state.

Industry sources said diamond manufacturers in centres other than Surat are lagging behind when it comes to processing diamonds using hi-tech technology. Reason: the small players are not in a position to invest lakhs of rupees for installing hi-tech technology for diamond polishing and jewellery making, which is available with diamond manufacturers in Surat.

Regional chairman of GJEPC Chandrakant Sanghavi told TOI, "Diamond units operating in small centres across the state are using old and out-dated technology, which was used in Surat some 15 years ago. However, the productivity and quality of work are always compromised. Through the common facility centres, we want to provide a platform to diamond manufacturers to make use of hi-tech technology and increase their productivity at par with global standards."

According to Sanghavi, the common facility centres will provide all the facilities to small diamond manufacturers such as planning of the rough diamonds, laser marking, computer aided design (CAD) for jewellery making etc. on job work basis.

"It is a unique project aimed at upgrading the skills of diamond manufacturers with the use of hi-tech technology," president of Surat Diamond Association (SDA) Dinesh Navadia said.

Sources said a four-member team from GJEPC, IDI and SDA will visit the small diamond centres across the state and a detailed report on the need of diamond manufacturers will be submitted to the central government.

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