Industry divided on proposed Surat Diamond Bourse

SURAT: Surat diamantiares and Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) have crossed swords over establishment of a Surat Diamond Bourse (SDB) in the Diamond City.

While GJEPC has criticized the move of some diamantaires for instigating their counterparts in Mumbai to shift their diamond trading operations at the proposed SDB, the diamantiares associated with 'Chalo Surat' and 'Bye Bye Mumbai' movement claim to have distributed more than 5,000 forms in Mumbai and Surat for the office space requirement at the world-class diamond bourse being planned adjacent to Surat airport on a sprawling 2 lakh square metres of land.

Over the next week, the diamantiares will be forming a 14-member committee including seven members each from Surat and Mumbai to take key decisions regarding the purchase of land for the new bourse and government networking.

President of Surat Diamond Association (SDA) Dinesh Navadia said, "We have distributed 5,000 forms in just two days. This shows the pessimism among our brethren in Mumbai who want to shift base."

Chairman of Sanghavi Exports, Chandrakant Sanghavi said, "There are hundreds of traders shuttling between Surat and Mumbai for business. If a bourse comes up in Surat they will have a permanent office space to do their business."

A diamantaire from a leading DTC sightholder company said, "We want to develop a world class diamond bourse in Surat and there is no need to involve the GJEPC in it. A company will be floated for the new bourse. Whatever profit it will earn from selling the office space will be used for further development of the bourse and the industry."

However, an office-bearer of GJEPC said, "Nobody from the industry could turn their back from the fact that Mumbai is a financial capital of India and the gateway to the diamond trade. Why do the diamantaires have their offices across the world? Shifting operations to Surat is not a long term solution."