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Mumbai Diamond Trade Exempt from Lockdown

Apr 14, 2021 6:21 AM   By Joshua Freedman
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India’s gem and jewelry industry has obtained an exemption from the strict Covid-19 measures that have gone into effect in Mumbai and the surrounding region.

The government of Maharashtra state announced new rules on Tuesday, restricting gatherings and activities and allowing only essential services to operate. These include the export and import of all commodities, enabling the diamond sector to carry on as normal, the country’s Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) said Wednesday. Support functions such as grading laboratories can also continue.

“This has [resulted from] persistent communication and requests made by the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council and the Bharat Diamond Bourse [BDB],” the council said.

The BDB, the heart of the Mumbai trade, will remain open, Mehul Shah, the exchange’s vice president, told Rapaport News. The bourse closed for one day last week when the government introduced a partial lockdown, Shah added.

Gem and jewelry manufacturing and support activities can continue in shifts, the Maharashtra government clarified in a virtual meeting with the GJEPC last week. In addition, the BDB can open Covid-19 vaccination and testing centers for workers, it said.

The government said the new measures were not a “lockdown,” but admitted the “war has begun again.” The rules follow a sharp surge in coronavirus infections in the state.

Image: Mumbai during its first lockdown in April 2020. (Shutterstock)
Tags: BDB, Bharat Diamond Bourse, COVID-19, Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council, GJEPC, India, Jewelry, Joshua Freedman, lockdown, Maharashtra, Mehul Shah, mumbai
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