The COVID-19 Lockdown has been active in India for two months. It seems like the lockdown may be lifted from June. However, the economy has been primarily affected by the lockdown.
People are suffering from pay cuts, job loss, and increasing prices. In such a situation, many trades remain closed. The Diamond trade suffers from the effects of lockdown.
India is the largest diamond polishing hub in the world. But due to the COVID-19 lockdown, diamond merchants are out of business. The country employs around 1 million people in the diamond trade. Now, many are out of jobs.
Dharmeshbhai Kakadiya, Director of Brahmani Diamonds, used to employ 2000 workers. However, after the lockdown, he is not sure how many people he can keep engaged.
Vipul Shah, the managing director, Asian Star, and member of the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), said that forty-five percent of the people working in the production side might lose their jobs.
The good news is, Diamond merchants are expecting the market to revive by September. The longer the market remains closed, the harder it is going to be for the traders. However, it may take a year to get back to normal. Many merchants who are the real diamond supplier in the market, are making small pay cuts and keeping some of their workers.
Sanjay Shah, the senior partner at KBS Diamonds, jewelry exporter, said that things would be back to normal once the merchants start getting orders from the U.S. 45%-50% of the polished diamonds in India are exported to the U.S.
It is the largest consumer, followed by China and Europe. So, as soon as the orders from the U.S start pouring in, the diamond polishing business in India will look up.