Now, more Russian diamonds for Indian cutters

Now, more Russian diamonds for Indian cutters

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new economic engagement with President Vladimir Putin is expected to see more Russian rough diamonds being easily available for cutting and polishing by Indian traders, a chunk of whom are in Modi’s home state Gujarat.

The prime minister made an impassioned appeal to Putin to ease trade rules so that major diamond mining companies in Russia begin to sell directly to the Indian diamond industry.

More than 90 per cent of rough diamonds in the world are cut and polished in India with Gujarat’s Surat being the hub of this industry. At present, most of the rough diamonds that come from Russia to India do so via Belgium and Dubai.

Modi said while diamond is a universal symbol of wealth and enduring love, for India it was a source of employment to people. Of the 35 lakh people employed by the gems and jewellery sector in India, 10 lakh work in the diamond industry.

“Few would be aware that out of 10 polished diamonds pieces sold globally, nine have been processed by Indian artisans,” Modi said.

Twelve Indian companies will buy diamonds worth $2.1 billion in the next three years directly from Russian state-owned diamond mining giant Alrosa which accounts for 90 per cent of Russia’s diamond production.

Modi made a proposal to Putin that Alrosa should have direct long term contracts with more Indian companies. He also invited Alrosa to trade directly on Indian bourse.

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