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To employ migrant workers, industry proposes setting up of jewellery park in Uttar Pradesh

PUNE: To generate local employment for thousands of jewellery artisans who have returned to Uttar Pradesh, the industry has proposed to set up a jewellery park in the state where jewellers, largely unorganized, together consume more than 40% of the silver imported into India.

After the lockdown triggered reverse migration, Lucknow began mapping the migrant labour. That exercise showed that a large number were jewellery artisans. The centuries-old silvery jewellery industry of the state, immortalized in the Bollywood number on Bareilly’s jhumkas(ear pendants), has not been able to harness its potential due to the lack of infrastructure facilities that come with organised trade.

The approximate turnover of the silver jewellery business in Agra is more than Rs 10,000 crore as the city consumes about 2,000 tonnes of the white metal every year.

Agra-based Rishabh Singhal, one of the largest bullion traders in the country, said: “Of all the silver that is imported into India, Agra uses about 40% to make the most intricate anklets based on the traditional Moghul designs and using gems and mina work. The city also supplies the anklet base to other jewellery hubs like Selam, Rajkot etc in the country, which in turn use them for making anklets with local designs. The city houses some big jewellery exporters, while the small entrepreneurs thrive in its tiny lanes.”

Nitin Kedia, general secretary, All India Jewellers and Goldsmiths Federation, said: “A Jewellery Park located between Agra, which is the hub of jewellery manufacturing, and Lucknow, which has an airport, will help in giving the industry various crucial services like banking, polishing, cutting, finding purity and many others under one roof.”

Singhal said that one of the biggest issues facing the jewellery industry in Agra is the management of the safe distribution chain of silver. The metal is imported by 15 RBI approved banks in the country at two locations; by air at Delhi and by sea at Chennai.

“There are issues of safety, especially for the unorganised sector of this business. At the Jewellery Park, the banks supplying silver will be present and the suppliers will be able to set up vaults of bigger capacity,” Singhal said.


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