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Package to boost gems, jewellery exports

February 05, 2006

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ISLAMABAD, Feb 4: The government is considering a package for gems and jewellery industry to develop it on an organized pattern and enhance its exports. An official told Dawn on Saturday that the package would include loans from banks and financial institutions for imports of raw materials, machinery and equipment used in the manufacturing of gold, jewellery and precious stones.

The ministry of commerce is also considering a pilot project to be established in the export processing zone in Karachi, added the official.

There are more than 20,000 firms operating in the jewellery sector some are organized under the umbrella of different trade unions but major part of the industry is unorganized. The small firms are operating with the help of freelance craftsmen while the tools and techniques are traditional.

According to the official, the debt equity ratio was quite unfavourable from the financial institutions for the gold and jewellery sector but the fact was that huge investment was required in the raw material – gold — which was the main hindrance in establishing a jewellery manufacturing factory in the country.

The sources said that it was under consideration to increase the export of jewellery exclusively to Middle East, United Kingdom and United States, where a large number of South Asian immigrants were residing.