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Surat Diamond Production Has Decreased By 21%

Owners and employees have different perspectives on employment losses, but they both acknowledge that the industry is in decline relative to production from the prior year.
rough diamond

Diamond production in Surat down by 21% from previous year. Around 10,000 people working in the sector have lost their jobs in the last few months. Diamond workers don't have social security because they aren't registered as employees and don't get pay stubs or file income tax returns.

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Surat, one of the biggest diamond producers in the world, has seen a decline in production. This has had a negative impact on the diamond workers, whose condition is already dire as a result of inflation and the general downturn in gem and jewellery exports. Due to production reductions and the closure of small operations, about 10,000 people who were employed in the sector have lost their employment recently.

Government enforcement of labour regulations in the diamond industry has been urged by the Surat Diamond Workers Union. According to union president Ramesh Jilariya, the diamond business should be included under the Factories Act, which offers workers advantages like ESI, provident fund, set hours, and other social and health security benefits. Because diamond workers are not recognised as employees and do not receive pay stubs or file income tax returns, they are not eligible for social security benefits. This has angered the union. This implies that they are being denied additional advantages, he said.

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Surat Diamond Production

The Gems & Jewellery Promotion Council’s regional head, Vijay Mangukia, reported that imports from the US and other nations fell by 18% during the busiest time of the Christmas season. Because of this, production has decreased by 20–21%. According to data, the country exported polished diamonds worth $2,356.7 million in December 2022, 18.9% less than the $2,905 million it shipped in December 2021.

Mangukia acknowledges that this required the production units to reduce their output, but he disputes the claim that this has resulted in thousands of workers losing their jobs. He asserted that layoffs are not taking place to reduce production. Mangukia attempted to clarify that actually, the units had reduced the workers’ hours from 12 to 10 or 8 hours each day and had given them two weeks off as opposed to one.

The president of the Surat Diamond Association, Nanubhai Vekariya, also asserted that no diamond units had been closed in the previous two to three months. However, Vekariya argued that some individuals were complaining excessively about the recession when, in reality, the business was operating at full capacity, employing 7 lakh people across 3,000 units in Surat.

Jilariya disagreed, claiming that fewer diamonds were cut and polished as a result of the workers’ reduced working hours and increased weekly vacation time. These adjustments are harmful for the workers because their income is based on how many items they produce and how well they perform. And this is occurring independently of layoffs, according to Jilariya.

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FAQs

With more than 5,000 diamond manufacturing facilities, including some of the most cutting-edge, expansive plants in the world, Surat is also renowned as the largest diamond manufacturing hub in the world. With more than 100 publicly traded enterprises, the Surat SEZ is quickly becoming a major centre for the manufacture of jewellery.

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