All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council requests the Maharashtra CM to allow jewellers to operate in lockdown

Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: The national body of the gems and jewellery industry All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council (GJC) has written to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra Uddhav Thackeray to allow jewellers to operate on the festive days in the month of April and the upcoming wedding season despite the lockdown.

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There are several auspicious occasions such as Gudi Padwa (New Year for Maharashtrians) and other summer harvest festivals such as Ugadi, Chaitra Navratri, Jhulelal Jayanti on April 13, 2021; Mesha Sankranti, Solar New Year, Puthandu, Vishu Kani, Masik Karthigai, Ambedkar Jayanti and Baisakhi on April 14, 2021; and Gauri Puja, Gangaur, and Pohela Boishakha on April 15, 2021 amongst others.

Read more: Amazon India’s MSME sellers so far: 2.5M cumulatively digitised, $3B worth exports, 1M jobs created

GJC, which represents over 6,00,000 players related to the sector, has also requested to allow jewellers to operate during the upcoming wedding season in April-June quarter due to several auspicious dates starting mid-April.

Every year, jewellery business witnesses a spike in sales of roughly around 30 to 40%, the statement said. There is a concern that due to the lockdown and closure of retail outlets, the retailers are unable to finish the orders the customers had placed for Gudi Padwa and the weddings.

“The new lockdown restrictions ‘Break the Chain’, imposed from 5th April 2021 till 30th April 2021, has the potential to break the backbone of every Jeweller of Maharashtra,” said the statement by the industry body.

In a letter to the Maharashtra Chief Minister, Ashish Pethe, Chairman, GJC, stated, “India’s domestic gem & jewellery sector was looking forward to an encouraging scenario in the year 2021….The industry was seeing an upward graph but now with new lockdown restrictions in April, the livelihood of many craftsmen and self-employed jewellers will be affected and their families will suffer. The traditional Make in India indigenous gem and jewellery will not be able to survive one more lockdown as on-ground situation is really bad.”

“Maharashtra and especially Mumbai is a major HUB for thousands of wholesalers & manufacturers. It is also the biggest market for diamond exports and majority of the jewellery across India and globally is supplied from Zaveri Bazaar. Maharashtra also houses lakhs of jewellers and artisans who have migrated from all parts of India. The imposed lockdown will have repercussions on the entire nation and its supply chain,” he added.

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