Maharashtra to set up country's first jewellery park

Maharashtra proposes to set up an exclusive park to promote jewellery manufacturing and exports as part of the vision to achieve $60bn export in gems and jewellery by 2022.

"Maharashtra has been a top exporter of services and merchandise. The time has come now to think of growth acceleration by firing all the engines at the same time. The government of India will extend all the possible support to achieve the desired goal," said commerce and industry minister Suresh Prabhu.

"India is a global leader in jewellery industry as 90 per cent of rough diamonds come to India for finishing. Earlier it came to Maharashtra, but due to various administrative hurdles, it was diverted to Gujarat and South India. But it is encouraging to see Maharashtra changing to attract the business once again. This will definitely help the industry to grow. Maharashtra will soon set up a jewellery park, which will be first in the country. We have vision to achieve $60bn export in gems and jewellery industry by 2022," P Pandya, chairperson, Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) said.

Speaking on export oriented industrialisation, at the ongoing Magnetic Maharashtra Convergence in Mumbai, the minister said, "The central government is working towards encouraging Make in India, exports and the agriculture sector. At the same time, we are standardising services as well as merchandise to compete on a global level." This will help in creating global foot print for India. Export is driving India's growth trajectory to achieve trillion-dollar foreign trade, including import and export, he added.

"Foreign trade includes import and export of both services and goods. The role of states is crucial in national growth and Maharashtra is playing a bigger role in foreign trade as well as creating connectivity infrastructure. May it be via land, sea or air; Maharashtra has the potential to become growth engine of the country, as it has huge job opportunities in terms of facility building," Prabhu said.

Ajay Sahai, director-general and CEO, Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), said, "Exports must go up by 40 per cent to achieve target of trillion-dollar economy. Electronics and automobiles are the major sectors which Maharashtra needs to focus on to achieve the targets. The government should support exports and address the concerns faced by exporters such as taxation and approvals. Petroleum products should be brought under GST. Despite the welcome tax reforms, there are several hurdles in realising the dream of ease of doing business," he said.

On the current state of SEZs in the country, Sahai said, "SEZs must have a world-class infrastructure. People are going to SEZ's for tax benefits. This should not be the goal. With just a handful of SEZs, China has become an export giant, whereas, even after creating hundreds of SEZs, India has hardly been able to make an impact on export market."

''It is high time that the government focuses on exports as it is the biggest creator of jobs. Export drives many economies such as Korea, China and Taiwan,'' Arun Kumar, chairman and CEO, KPMG, said.

Gopal Pillai, director and GM, Seller Service, Amazon India, stressed on the need for connecting customers and sellers across the globe. ''The government needs to have favourable policies for MSME's which will boost exports and reduce paperwork'', he said.

Sonia Sathi, additional director general, Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), said, "Maharashtra is the ideal place to grow corporate federalism wherein the state benefits from the Government of India schemes. The information about various schemes need to be spread amongst the stakeholders for their benefit." She added that Skill India, Make in India and Digital India are the flagship programmes of the government aimed at creating favourable environment for MSMEs, she added.

The Magnetic Maharashtra: Convergence 2018 is conceptualised and organised by the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC). Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is the national partner and KPMG is the knowledge partner to the summit.