Diamond industry faces grim future in Gujarat

Surat, July 7 (ANI): A large number of daily wage workers stare at a bleak future as the diamond industry in Surat faces its worst crisis as orders have slumped.

Surat is known as the country’s diamond capital but in the recent past more than 15,000 workers have lost their jobs.

According to a small diamond unit owner, Kishore Patel, the crisis has deepened because of dwindling business. This has led to closure of several small scale units leading to job loss.

“The position of diamond industry is very weak, there were times when we used to work continuously for hours and in shifts and employed around 1,000 workers, but now the situation is so bad that we work for 2-3 hours and employ 10-12 workers,” said Patel.

President of Surat Diamond Association, Jaysukh Gajera, said small units, numbering about 300, are finding it difficult to run their business as the profits have dwindled.

“Around 300 small units which are unregistered have closed since last Diwali but no big company has shut down or fired their workers. Only one big company, Gothani Gems, has closed down,” said Gajera.

The industry faced similar situation in 2008 when a large number of diamond units closed down.

The unemployed workers have moved a local court in Surat seeking compensation from the diamond units.

“In our PIL (Public Interest Litigation), we are requesting the court to look into our problems and request the owners of diamond companies to not brazenly fire a worker. And if you remove any employee, then he should be given sufficient compensation so that he does not have to face crisis,” said a worker, Bharat Vohra. (ANI)

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