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An exclusive interview with Mr. Kirit Bhansali, Vice Chairman, GJEPC

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Q1. What are your visions, plans and objectives for GJEPC for the next two years?

The Government of India, Union Ministry of Commerce, has set us an export target of $49.8 billion. We look forward to the help of visionaries like our prime minister, finance minister and commerce minister, all of them working round the clock to boost our exports. Last year, the industry achieved the target set for us. There are slowdowns in the USA and China, but we continue to find new opportunities for Indian exports. This is why the GJEPC recently opened an office in the UAE. I visited the UAE and interacted with local business leaders and importers. We aim to develop new markets in the UAE. The government is negotiating FTAs with Canada and Australia, which will also boost our gem and jewellery exports.

Q2. How is the India Jewellery Park Mumbai project developing and when will it begin operations?

It is a fantastic initiative. The MIDC has already completed 80 per cent of the wall construction surrounding the area of the project. We will finalise the architects and other agencies by the end of December 2022. We hope to complete this project within four years. The first phase should be ready by mid-2024. Recently, a few exporter agencies shifted from Mumbai to Gujarat, and this worried the Maharashtra government. We have met the state chief minister, deputy chief minister and industry minister, and they are uniformly supportive. In the next few days, we hope to hear the good news that India Jewellery Park Mumbai has been declared a Mega Project. The state government will waive STEM duties, saving us Rs13–14cr on the project.

Q3. What projects is the central government focusing on to strengthen India’s gems and jewellery industry?

For the last few years, the union minister of commerce has taken a personal interest. The number of visits that he has made, compared to the last 15–20 years, is unbelievable. By February 2023 we will have a Common Facilitation Centre at SEEPZ, built with a huge investment of Rs100cr. Together with the India Jewellery Park, this project will definitely boost the industry.

Courtesy: Retail Jeweller India News

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