The proposal to include lab-created diamonds in India’s production-linked incentives scheme looks more likely to succeed after receiving support from Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal.
According to Colin Shah, Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) chair, Goyal indicated the ministry’s support for the industry’s inclusion in the incentive program following the council’s presented the current status of the sector and its potential for growth in the country.
The proposal aims to cover the development of synthetic diamonds and the equipment used in the production process. Shah claims the lab-created diamond industry could employ around one million additional workers in India to produce 150 million carats annually.
The government-run GJEPC also proposed the establishment of a park or complex in Gujarat, to serve as a centre for research and development, as well as provide skills development and training to address the industry’s staffing needs.
“Lab-grown diamonds have the potential to build and sustain a stronger and more self-reliant domestic cutting and polishing industry and the introduction of a tracking system will help GJEPC monitor the supply chain and maintain consumer confidence in lab-grown diamonds,” Shah told Times of India.
To qualify for incentive benefits under the program, synthetic diamond manufacturers would be required to invest no less than Rs500 million ($AU8.99 million) and achieve a turnover that is double the amount of the declared investment capital.
Additionally, the proposal seeks approval from the government to allow the importation of machinery and equipment used in synthetic diamond production with concessional import duty for one year while the industry transitions into promoting the local production of synthetic diamond development machinery.
“The companies availing benefits under the PLI need to be certified by the GJEPC,” Shah added.