As the nerve center of the Indian diamond trade, the bourse is the anchor of the 20-acre Bandra Kurla Complex, which is home to some 2,500 diamond trading companies, as well as a customs house, banks and other service providers.
On April 1, Mumbai’s home state of Maharashtra had reported 43,138 new coronavirus cases. But things then went from bad to worse. On April 25 the number was up to 61,191, and experts said that it was a gross underestimate, with the real number many times higher.
During the week between April 18 and 25, India reported 2.24 million new coronavirus cases, which is the highest number recorded by any country in a seven-day period. It also suffered 16,257 official COVID deaths, which is almost twice the 8,588 deaths recorded the previous week, according to the country’s Health Ministry data.
INDIAN INDUSTRY LEADERS APPEAL TO GOVERNMENT
To meet the challenge of dealing with the massive surge in COVID-19 cases, India’s Gem and Jewelry Export Promotion Council, the country’s leading jewelry industry body, called on the government to provide further assistance to the critical economic sector.
In a letter to Nirmala Sitharaman, the federal Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Colin Shah, GJCEP Chairman, noted that the rise in infections had led to partial restrictions and lockdowns in various districts of Maharashtra and other states in India, including Gujarat, home to the world’s largest cutting and polishing center of Surat.
“Just as the macroeconomic numbers point to a recovery in a particular month, there is another set of data spreading the gloom of downturn the very next month,” Shah wrote. “The gem and jewelry trade has also been impacted and the sector is reeling under a lot of uncertainty with closure of retail stores, restriction on travel and logistics, restriction on manufacturing capacity and number of employees coming to work to curb the spread of the pandemic.”
“It has been the endeavor of the business owners to put in place a policy for safeguarding the workers and the manufacturing staff,” he stated, adding that serious assistance from the government is required upon to avoid any defaults and overcome the period of the crisis.
The GJEPC has requested the government consider a number of measures to limit the economic fallout. These include and extension of export finance realization period, and extension of import payments, a rescheduling of loan terms, maintaining the status quo for credit ratings and more.
Serious assistance from the government is required upon to avoid defaults and overcome the period of the crisis, wrote Colin Shah, Chairman of India’s Gem and Jewelry Export Promotion Council, in an appeal to Nirmala Sitharaman, the federal Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs.
The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) has launched a campaign, organized in coordination with the leadership of the Bharat Diamond Bourse, to raise funds that will be used to purchase essential medications and equipment that are desperately needed by hospitals in Surat and Mumbai.
WFDB LAUNCH INDIA AID CAMPAIGN
On April 29, the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) announced that it was launching a campaign, called Diamond Aid, to raise funds to help India in its battle with COVID-19.
During an emergency teleconference, the WFDB Executive Committee decided unanimously to take the lead in mobilizing the international diamond and jewelry industry.
The goal of the fundraising campaign, organized in coordination with the leadership of the Bharat Diamond Bourse, is to purchase essential medications and equipment that are desperately needed by hospitals in Surat and Mumbai.
“The international diamond and jewelry industry is a close-knit community, actually a family, made up of members from around the globe, many of whom live or originate in India,” said WFDB President Yoram Dvash. “As members of this family, we cannot stand by without helping.”
“We call upon the generosity of our industry to help the people of India through this devastating time, he added.
For further information and to donate please go to: https://campaign.wfdb.com/.