GST, lack of tech aid play spoilsport

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Though the gems that were cut and polished here such as ‘Trichy Kamalam’ are popular for its unique work, the Chinese gem production industry has an edge over the local gem makers in terms of technology and quantity. Since MSMEs in Trichy are known for their expertise in fabrication and engineering works, artificial gem makers have sought the government and local entrepreneurs to consider fabricating automatic cutting and polishing machine on a par with the Chinese gem cutting machines.

While the manual cutting and polishing process can produce only 200-300 artificial gems a day, automatic cutting and polishing machines imported from China can make at least 20,000 gems a day. As the demand for artificial diamonds are growing, jewellers here have to depend on Chinese gems to fulfill their requirement. The need to enhance the existing machinery is crucial for catching the local market again, say the artificial diamond makers. For importing spare parts and machinery from China, the diamond makers have to pay around 40% of the cost as GST (28% slab) and import duty, thus making the investment heavy.

Gem makers said that either the GST slab should be lowered or hi-tech cutting and polishing machinery should be fabricated locally to bring down the investment and boost production. “A common facility centre is essential for the artificial gem cutting cluster to improve our production capacity through teamwork. Technical guidance is also mandatory to address the local market’s requirements,”

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