“There are over 4,000 diamond manufacturing and polishing units in Surat, employing over nine lakh people. The industry has a collective turnover of Rs. 2 lakh crores,” says Dineshbhai Navadiya, a manufacturer, also the President of the Surat Diamond Association.
“There has been an increase of over 20% in the turnover of the industry this year. The entire credit for this goes only to the traders and manufacturers. We are working hard to achieve new heights in the industry, but there is no support from the side of the government,” says Prakash Patel, another manufacturer.
“The major reason for the growth of the industry is the newly started manufacturing of solitaire diamonds above 40 cents in weight. Earlier, Israel was renowned for solitaire diamond production, but now, Surat excels in their production. Such solitaires are now manufactured on a large scale in Surat, and exported to several countries like Hong Kong, Bangkok and USA among others,” says Navadiya.
“The production of solitaire diamonds has greatly increased the profits of the industrialists,” he says.
“The government has not supported us in any way. It should roll out a policy, and help us in boosting trade further. It should share cordial relations with African countries, as they provide over 70% of the raw material,” Patel says.
“There should be an international airport in Surat, so that importers can reach us directly. Also, the government should start a training institute to motivate the younger generation to join this traditional business,” Navadiya says.