New Delhi: Imports of rough diamonds have increased by 11.11% to $15.53 billion during the April-January period of the current fiscal, according to Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). The imports had aggregated to $13.97 billion in the 10-month period of last fiscal, 2016-17.

The inbound shipments of gold bars also rose by 18.2% to $4.37 billion during the April-January period of 2017-18. However, imports of cut and polished diamonds dipped by 12.91% to $1.88 billion during the period under review as compared to $2.16 billion a year ago.

The GJEPC data further showed that exports of gems and jewellery declined by 4.71% to $27.5 billion during the period under review due to demand slowdown in major markets, including the US.

The labour-intensive sector contributes about 14% to the country’s overall exports. The drop in shipments is mainly due to negative growth in the export of gold medallions and coins.

The industry has asked for support in terms of increasing incentives under the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) to boost the shipments.

As per the data, gold jewellery shipments during April-January, 2017-18 increased by about 3% to $7.74 billion. On the other hand, shipments of gold medallions and coins contracted by 58% during the period to $1.81 billion.

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