By Lenore Fedow
India’s gem and jewelry sector employs 5 million workers, according to the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council.
Mumbai—The foundation stone has been laid for a 21-acre “jewelry park” in Mumbai, the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council announced earlier this month.

The industrial park, located in the Maharashtra state, will feature design and technology centers, training facilities, common areas, manufacturing units and other commercial support services.

India’s Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu attended the recent stone-laying ceremony for the new facility, along with several members of the GJEPC, including Chairman Pramod Kumar Agrawal and Vice Chairman Colin Shah.

Maharashtra, which spans across west-central India, is home to the Bollywood film industry and historic sights, including Aga Khan Palace.

The jewelry center will boast state-of-the-art machinery, including a suction and drainage system that collects gold dust that is expected to reduce the gold loss ratio from 10 percent to 3 percent.

Residential housing, ranging from 500 to more than 1,000 square feet, will also be available, taking a page from the book of jewelry manufacturing centers in China and Turkey.

The compound’s infrastructure will include its own system of roads, telecommunication lines, solar energy, a water treatment plant and rainwater harvesting.

The project is expected to generate 100,000 jobs and boost overall economic development in Maharashtra.

20190322 Jewelry Park Stone CeremonySuresh Prabhu, India’s Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, attended the foundation laying ceremony alongside other government officials and GJEPC committee members.
GJEPC did not respond to inquiries about when it expects the park to be completed.

A mix of government subsidies, including special incentives by the cabinet sub-committee for industry, and investments from the gems and jewelry industry, are being used to fund the project’s construction. 

Minister Prabhu said the park was “symbolic of the direction of the future economic march” of India.

“We have to inject new energy into enterprise and business in order to generate more jobs and prosperity for the common man,” he said.

The state’s goal is to double its merchandise exports from $500 billion to $1 trillion, which GJEPC Chairman Agrawal expects Maharashtra to reach by 2025.

The gem and jewelry sector is expected to play a significant role in that journey; the process is underway to create a Domestic Gem & Jewelry Council to work toward the goal of doubling exports in the sector to $80 billion.

India’s gem and jewelry exports currently account for $40 billion, contributing 14 percent to the country’s total merchandise exports and employing 5 million workers, according to GJEPC.

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