Diamond traders seek more time to repay export credit

Hit hard by the outbreak of coronavirus in China, diamond traders have sought more time to repay export credit extended by banks. The industry has approached the union government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) seeking an extension of the credit deadline.

With about 35-40 per cent of the diamond exports from India flowing to mainland China and Hong Kong, which also serve as ports for distribution to other countries, the virus outbreak has put Indian diamond houses in a difficult situation.
Reports citing a note to the central bank and government by Pramod Kumar Agrawal, chairman of the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council, said diamond traders have approached the central bank, the commerce and finance ministries seeking an extension on the deadline to clear lines of credit.
Diamond trade has sought at least six more months to repay all lines of credit, including packing credit and bills outstanding for shipments to China or Hong Kong and for goods already exported for which payments are receivable from buyers in these regions. 
Over 1,100 people dead and over 44,000 confirmed cases, China has imposed restrictions on trade and the movement of people in order to check the spread of the deadly coronavirus to more regions and to countries outside.
The epidemic has brought business operations in financial centres such as Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong to a near standstill.