Poor Wages, Working Conditions Persist in Indian Gem & Jewelry Trade

06/07/2016 16:06

Citing a publication from The Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India (ASSOCHAM India) - which together with the Thought Arbitrage Research Institute published a study titled "Gems & jewellery industry: Contributing to Make in India" - Rapaport News writes that, "Salaries in India’s gem and jewelry sector are half of those in other industries, according to a report that highlights a labor shortage driven by rock-bottom pay and dangerous working conditions. Workers in the industry earn an average of $3,740 (INR 252,000) per year, according to the ASSOCHAM India and the Thought Arbitrage Research Institute. The figure compares with $7,550 in the pharmaceuticals industry, $7,330 in capital goods and $6,574 in the electronics sector."

The ASSOCHAM press release states, "Inadequate working conditions and limited compliance with health and safety standards have also led to low interest in the industry. Excessive and prolonged exposure to lethal chemicals and gases can lead to ailments like lung tissue damage, kidney damage and lung cancer thereby making the industry less attractive and not an employer of choice for the younger generations. Unorganised players and small-scale enterprises are not known to use cutting edge technology and high quality materials in their manufacturing processes, this is another major reason as behind slow growth of the gems and jewellery sector in India."

D.S. Rawat, secretary general of ASSOCHAM, said, “Sustainable growth of any industry needs continuous supply of new talent with skills and ground-breaking ideas. Manual methods of cutting, polishing, manufacturing and designing of gems and jewellery need to be substituted with high-end machines and software by imparting practical training to the youth in use of laser machines and other modern techniques prevalent globally."

Photo source: The Wall Street Journal