Amid slowdown, Congress’ Chavda seeks financial package for diamond polishers – The Indian Express

Amid the slowdown in the diamond industry, Congress leader Amit Chavda on Saturday sought a financial package for diamond polishers in the state. Over 30 diamond polishers, he said, have died by suicide while facing financial challenges as he urged the state government to give compensation to their families. The Congress leader further said he would be raising the matter in the Gujarat Assembly.
Accompanied by Surat Congress chief Hasmukh Desai, Chavda met diamond polishers as the Diamond Workers Union Gujarat made a representation and talked about their challenges. “The diamond industry of Surat has seen global recognition, and it tenders large amounts of international revenue to our country. Diamond industry played an important role in making Gujarat an economic growth engine of the country,” stressed Chavda while talking to reporters.
He further added, “In the present times, the diamond industry is passing through a recession period due to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine and the recent war between Israel and Hamas. Even the blanket ban by G7 nations on rough diamonds of Russia had also impacted the diamond industry a lot.”
In the last few months, Chavda added, over 30 diamond polishers ended their lives while facing financial crises. “In the present situation, the diamond factory owners have reduced the working hours of diamond polishers and even many of the diamond factories are keeping two days holiday in their factories. There is not much time left for Diwali but some of the factories in Surat have started shutting down their factories, declaring vacations without giving intimation when the factory will restart,” the Congress leader said.
He also assured Diamond Workers Union Gujarat that he would raise the issue with the state government and in the Assembly. “We want the Gujarat government to declare a financial package for the diamond workers of Surat and Gujarat. The small factory owners should also be compensated. The state government had earlier declared Ratna Deep Kaushaliya scheme in 2008 for a recession in the industry… the same scheme should be announced for the betterment of the diamond polishers and their family members,” he said.
About compensating the family members of deceased diamond polishers, Chavda said, “The compensation amount is given from the Chief Minister’s fund for those who die in accidents. Similarly, the compensation amount should be given to the family members of those diamond polishers who had died by suicide.”
Chavda also raised the issue of professional tax taken from the diamond polishers, and said, “The diamond workers are labourers and how can the professional tax be taken from them by the municipal corporation? It is our demand that such professional tax on diamond polishers should be immediately stopped.”


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