Diamantaries set up panel for Surat Diamond Bourse; Mumbai traders have no plans to shift

DiamondWatchMay14The Mumbai diamond industry denies shifting their base from the financial city to Surat. Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB) and Mumbai Diamond Merchants’ Association (MDMA) has issued pamphlets stating that Mumbai is the key centre of world diamond business and traders are happy doing business in the city.

In May, the Mumbai diamond industry has been upset over the news of Mumbai diamond traders shifting their base to Surat. To make it more precise, city’s diamond traders working at Bandra-Kurla Complex with Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB) and Mumbai Diamond Merchants’ Association (MDMA) stated that they are happy doing business in the financial capital of India and have no plans to shift to the proposed Surat Diamond Bourse (SDB).

Pamphlets were issued by three organizations stating that most of the manufacturers and traders in Mumbai have been concerned ever since the idea of shifting the diamond trading operation from the financial capital had been floating. Plans are afoot to purchase land in Surat to house the proposed bourse under SDB, which would be a non-profit organization with the aim to facilitate trading of polished as well as rough diamonds.

According to the plan, over the next few weeks, a new entity, Surat Diamond Bourse (SDB), would be registered – positioning it against the newlyformed Bharat Diamond Bourse in Mumbai’s Bandra-Kurla suburb — and diamantaries in India and abroad would be asked to fill up a simple form to spell out their interest and the office area they require to set up shops in Surat.

The pamphlets titled ‘important clarification’ distributed by GJEPC, BDB and MDMA clearly states that Mumbai diamond traders are happy with business in the city and don’t aim to shift to Surat. It states that Mumbai is the key centre of world diamond business. It offers world-class infrastructure, international air connectivity, finance and banking services and other human resources unlike Surat.

It was further highlighted that BDB was set after planning of 20 years and many big diamantaries had invested crores of rupees there. BDB has around 2,500 diamond offices and also offices for customs, banking, courier and logistic companies spread in an area of 20 lakh square feet. The BDB is equipped with modern security arrangements and diamantaires are happy doing their trading from the most protected area of Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC), the pamphlet says.

The pamphlet further adds that some persons in the industry have spread false information that a large number of traders and manufacturers from Mumbai have vouched their support to Surat Diamond Bourse. Bharat Shah, president, MDMA, told TOI, “It is our advice to those leading the campaign for a new diamond bourse in Surat to stop spreading panic among Mumbai diamantaires. The entire diamond trade in Mumbai is disturbed over the development. We had to issue the pamphlet to bring to people’s notice the real story.”

Shah added, “Not today, but after 10 years, Surat may emerge as a parallel market to Mumbai. First and the foremost thing to develop a new bourse, Surat requires an international airport. This we think will take another five to six years.”