Commodities

GJEPC sets up ₹50 crore Covid-19 relief fund

?OUR BUREAU Mumbai | Updated on March 27, 2020 Published on March 27, 2020

 

 

The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council has carved out ₹50 crore from its reserves to support workers of the industry and people affected by Covid-19 crisis.

The industry body has also appealed to its members to contribute to the welfare fund and collect another ₹50 crore for supporting people affected by the novel disease. The fund will also be used to support several initiatives undertaken by State governments to fight the current crisis in India, said the Council. The Council has formed a Task Force to decide on modalities to use the donated fund by identifying the industry needs and initiatives of governments in 10 States where the industry has presence.

Pramod Agrawal, Chairman, GJEPC, said that the economic situation of the gem and jewellery industry has taken a severe beating but the most affected are the daily wage workers. “The industry employs over five million work force and in such distress times, it becomes important for us to take adequate care of our employees,” he said.

Colin Shah, Vice-Chairman, GJEPC, said that the industry has shut operations since March 12 and the present fund allocation will be a moral booster for the industry workers.

As per the need of State governments, the Council can set up dedicated quarantine centres, preparing food packets for distribution among needy and medical facilities to help people, he said. In order to ensure minimum livelihood to job workers in the industry, GJEPC has proposed the government to include the gem and jewellery sector in the list of job works covered under the MNREGA scheme so that these workers are able to sustain themselves, he added.

The industry expects gem and jewellery exports to come down by 7 per cent in this fiscal with sharp drop in March quarter.

In the first 11 months of this fiscal, gem and jewellery exports declined 7 per cent to $33.56 billion ($36 billion) while last month it plunged 21 per cent to $2.90 billion ($3.66 billion).

Published on March 27, 2020
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