India Expected To Restart Limited Activities in Gem & Jewelry Sector Soon

14/04/2020 12:00

The Government of India has decided to extend its nationwide lockdown until 3 May to slow down the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus, but is inclined to allow some factories, including some diamond manufacturing units, to resume operations with restrictions.

India's nationwide 21-day lockdown was supposed to end today, Tuesday, April 14, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced an extension until 3 May. A detailed advisory on relaxation of some rules is scheduled to be announced tomorrow and implemented starting 20 April. According to the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, among the key economic activities that will be permitted to resume limited operations are large and well-organized gem and jewelry sector units and companies/MSMEs with export commitments. 

According to a letter seen by the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), there are three categories among the proposed exemptions which could be beneficial to the gem and jewelry industry. These include:

  • Companies/MSMEs with export commitments, which should be allowed to operate with minimal manpower and necessary movement of material as a new entity. In this case, while granting passes, the concerned authorities may check details of the export commitments and allow accordingly;
  • Gems and Jewelry sector units (big and organized) may be permitted to start with minimum manpower and proper sanitation and distancing norms/safeguards on a single shift basis; and
  • All units in SEZs (special economic zones) and EOUs (export oriented units).

As of Tuesday morning, India had recorded a total of 10,023 coronavirus cases, with 8,978 active cases and a death toll of 339, according to its Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.