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India's Diamond Industry Hit Hard by Economic Crisis

rediff.com, news report, Posted: Nov 07, 2008

MUMBAO - The economic slowdown has hit the diamond industry in India hard reports Rediff.com. An estimated 50,000 unskilled, semi-skilled or skilled labourers have been laid off so far this year in Surat, the country's largest cutting and polishing centre for precious stones. Mumbai too has lost between 10,000-12,000 jobs in the last six weeks. Chandrakant Sanghavi, the chair of Gems and Jewellery Export council says the usual Christmas orders are not coming. Existing orders have been canceled. As a result some diamond processing units have had to go on 40 days vacation. Ninety eight percent of cut and polished diamonds are exported to the US and Europe. Diamond traders are bracing for harder times and anticipating delay in payments from the U.S. as well. Meanwhile the industry has about as much inventory as much as India's annual exports.


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