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Diamond exporters anxious over inert Intl market
Feb '08
Santacruz Electronic Export Processing Zone (SEEPZ), India's foremost exclusive export zone is clouded by doubts of loosing its diamond exporting business.

A major share of the gems and jewelry exports is taken by the SEEPZ which has more than 130 jewelry units accounting 38 percent of India's total jewelry export worth US $5,211 million.

In fact, major international retailers like Wal Mart, Sterling, Zales source their jewelry products from SEEPZ. However, after the withdrawal of customs duty exemption on Indian jewelry by the US, diamond sales in India declined to $1,511 million in 2007 compared to $1,699 million in 2006.

Research studies prove that US alone accounts for about 34 percent of the $17 billion exports of cut and polished diamonds and jewelry.

Moreover, being located in the SEZ area, the industrial units are entitled for a number of exemptions like octroi, electricity duty, tax on sale of electricity, stamp duty and registration charges. However, the process to claim these concessions is so time consuming that exporters have to reluctantly give up on their hopes to come out of the crisis.

The only probable solution would be to wait for Government's approval to allow sale of products in local markets so that they can stay afloat even when the international market looks sluggish.

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