New Delhi: Jobs of more than one million diamond workers in India, particularly in Surat in Gujarat, stand threatened after the fresh sanctions imposed by G7 countries at Hiroshima on diamonds mined in Russia, reports The Economic Times.
The business daily quotes Vipul Shah, chairman of Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), as saying, “If the sanctions continue, then there will be a lot of uncertainty in the employment of one million workers.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had attended the G7 meeting at Hiroshima as an invited guest, others being the leaders of Comoros, Cook Islands, Vietnam, Indonesia, Brazil, South Korea and Australia. Leaders of the G7 countries in Hiroshima pledged to restrict trade in Russian diamonds — worth $4-5 billion a year — including using high-tech methods of tracing to further obstruct Moscow’s war against Ukraine.
Because of the sanctions, diamond workers in Surat have started to suffer due to non-availability of rough diamonds from Russia. The crisis has worsened when coupled with a fall in demand amid a global economic slowdown and rising fears of a global recession largely due to the ongoing war.
Indian diamond trade cuts and polishes nine out of 10 diamonds available in the world and imports Russian diamonds from Alrosa, which accounts for 30% of global rough diamond output, the newspaper reported.
Rameshbhai Zilriya, president of the Diamond Workers Union Gujarat, said fresh sanctions would sound the death knell for the industry, reports AFP.
As there is no definite method to identify from where a particular piece of diamond originated, G7 is looking to deploy traceability techniques to identify the origin and reduce movement of Russian diamonds in world markets.
“In order to reduce the revenues that Russia extracts from the export of diamonds, we will continue to work closely together to restrict trade in and use of diamonds mined, processed or produced in Russia and engage with key partners with the aim of ensuring effective implementation of future coordinated restrictive measures, including through tracing technologies,” the G7 had said in a statement at Tokyo.