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China posing threat to the Indian diamond industry
Cheap labour, better infrastructure, usage of advanced technology and business friendly policies adopted over years by the Chinese government, have made it a super economic force in governing the world trade,causing great threat for Indian market.

THE LOW cost of manufacturing with the availability of cheaper raw material, with less duty has already attracted several Multinational Corporation (MNC) to open their production centres and offices in China, in the last couple of years. The popularity of Chinese goods has also started threatening the Indian market manufacturers who are finding it hard to compete against the Chinese goods, which are available at a lower price tag.

Earlier it was the marketing of Hindu deities Lord Ganesha and Laxmi on the occasion of Diwali and now it is the turn of the Indian diamond cutting and polishing industry that is suffering, as China is all set to challenge the diamond processing units present in the Indian sub-continent.

Diamond is a precious stone and is regarded as a symbol of love. It is valued by its four major characteristics, which are its essential constituents and are often dubbed as‘four Cs’ of the diamond. These are cut, clarity, carat and colour. The diamonds arriving in the Indian market are generally rough and are then processed in different units present in the nation. Majority of these diamond processing units are located in Surat, a city in south Gujarat popularly known as the diamond city of India. It is also famous for its sarees as the city’s major industrial areas like Pandesara, Kadodara, Sachin, Udhna etc, have many printing and dying houses where one can see thousands of power looms and textile mills.

It is believed that almost 90 per cent of the small diamonds obtained in different mines in Africa and purchased by many traders in the European nations, is being sent to Surat for cutting and polishing. The city has more then 10,000 cutting and polishing units mostly located in areas around Varacha, Ashwini Kumar Road near the Surat railway station and one can witness diamond trade in the narrow lanes of Varacha in the open under the sky.

Though most of the labour (some eight to 10 lakhs) engaged in the diamond processing industry in Surat comes from Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh who have certain experience in it. China has started using better technology in giving shapes to the diamonds, the diamond industry in Surat is still looking for professionals who can compete with the changing global scenario. Though Surat has witnessed arrival of a few institutes that have come up in the city like the Indian Diamond Institute (IDT) to train the new comers, it is upto the Indian government now to wake up and save the shine of this industry, which exports nearly Rs.50,000 crores of diamonds every year and give a big chunk of money in the revenue of the state.

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