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India eyes top spot in diamond trading hub
February 16, 2013, 1:50 pm

[Getty Images]

India is the largest diamond cutting and polishing centre in the world. [Getty Images]

India is looking at becoming the international trading hub for rough diamonds after the government approved a special task group report to revive the sector.

Anand Sharma, India’s minister of commerce and industry, said India is committed to continue as a responsible and active member of the Kimberley Process Certification System.

Sharma said: “The world would not have been able to reach less than 1 per cent trading of conflict diamonds, if India would not have vouched for the same so steadfastly.”

The minister made the comments while unveiling a government task group report to make India an international trading hub for rough diamonds.

India is the largest diamond cutting and polishing centre in the world.

However, there has been a slump in exports of diamonds from India, through the last few quarters.

According to a statement on the Indian ministry of information website, some of the recommendations in the report include the establishment of a $3-5 billion fund for banks to refinance their dollar loans to the industry.

The report also suggests setting up of a special notified zone for import and trading of rough diamonds and permission to import cut and polished diamonds duty free up to the extent of 15 per cent of the average of  the previous 3 years’ exports.

And reducing the rate of computation of profit from 6 per cent  to 2.5 per cent.

“The conscience of the Indian diamond sector for clean and responsible diamond trading is really high.

“Some mischievous and malicious elements of late have been trying to malign the perception of the Indian diamond sector, which the Indian government will not allow” Sharma said.

A government and industry joint task group did an extensive review of the issues related to the trade facilitation, taxation, fiscal measures and promotional matters related to the Indian diamond industry.

India currently enjoys the status of the foremost hub for manufacturing of diamonds in the world.

Diamond Exports is also a major contributor to the merchandise exports of the country.

Sharma said his ministry has issued the orders needed to implement certain diamond industry requests such as granting a bonded warehouse which was necessitated by the imposition of a two per cent import duty on cut and polished diamonds.

The BRICS Post