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Gujarat: No impact of COVID-19 on Surat’s diamond industry



Even as several migrant workers have left Gujarat’s Surat city due to the COVID-19 surge and anticipation of a lockdown, people associated with the diamond industry claimed the current scenario has had no impact on the trade so far. According to the Surat Diamond Association, at least 5 lakh workers are employed by 3,000 small and large diamond cutting and polishing units in Surat city.

Majority of workers have migrated here from Saurashtra and north Gujarat, while only 10 per cent are from Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, said Nanu Vekaria, president, Surat Diamond Association.

Of these 5 lakh workers, hardly five per cent had recently left for their hometowns in and outside Gujarat, he said.

“While some went back to attend weddings and other social gatherings, others left out of fear. Some even left for their hometowns to care for their ailing parents and relatives,” Vekaria said.

“Majority of the diamond polishing units are operational at present. A marginal number of workers have left, but they will return once the situation improves. So far, the diamond industry remains largely unaffected because of coronavirus,” he said.

The total turnover of Surat’s diamond industry is Rs 1,45,000 crore, said Dinesh Navadiya, regional chairman of the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC).

Navadiya too concurred that the industry remains unaffected, as very few workers have left the city despite a sharp rise in the coronavirus cases in the recent days.

“Those who are leaving will return as soon as the situation becomes normal. However, the number is less. Almost all units are working at present. So far, there seems to be no major impact on the diamond trade due to coronavirus,” he said.

Gujarat on Thursday recorded the highest single-day spike of 8,152 COVID-19 cases and 81 casualties that took the tally of infections to 3,75,768 and toll to 5,076.


Courtesy: Economic Times

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