By NAYAN DAVE
Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel on Friday inaugurated a state-of-the-art Common Facility Centre (CFC) equipped with the latest machinery at India’s biggest jewellery manufacturing cluster developed in and around Rajkot.
The first-of-its-kind CFC facility in the country is conceptualised and implemented by Gems & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), to provide small-scale units access to state-of-the-art technology at a fraction of the cost, thereby enabling them to upgrade their skills and improve the quality and yield of their output. The CFC is fully funded by the Union Ministry of Commerce & Industry.
Availability of CFC facility would further improve quality of finished jewellery carved by jewellery units in Rajkot, says Chandresh Patadiya, president of Jewellery Cluster Federation of Rajkot (JCFR). Spread across nearly 2300 sq ft area, the CFC is equipped with the latest machinery imported from the USA, Italy, Germany and Turkey. Jewellery units in the cluster can use CFC’s world-class facilities by paying nominal fees, says Patadiya.
Rajkot is one of the four biggest jewellery manufacturing clusters in the country apart from Kolkata, Jaipur and Mumbai, says Divyesh Patadiya, former president of JCFR adding that in the domestic as well as global markets, designer, fancy and light weight jewellery manufactured at Rajkot are in huge demand. With CFC facilities available for local jewellery manufacturers, brand Rajkot is all set to become even more strengthened as finishing of intricately manufactured gold and silver would further improve due to the use of latest machineries, he said.
The Rajkot CFC will provide services such as Jewellery Design (CAD), CAM (RTP), Laser CNC, Gold Purity Analysis (XRF), Laser Soldering, Laser Marking, Refining, and Wire & Pipe Faceting, said Dinesh Navadia, Gujarat regional Chairman of Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). Rajkot is well known for plain gold and silver jewellery. The city has more than 15,000 jewellery units, mostly MSMEs that produce an average of 150 tonnes of handmade plain gold jewellery each year.
As per an estimate, the Rajkot jewellery cluster consumes 1000 tons of silver on a monthly basis. The jewellery making units make value addition on gold and silver by making light weight intricately designed jewelleries from these precious metals.
Jewellery makers in Rajkot are doing job work for India’s most of the leading brands. With the access of the latest machineries through CFC at their doorstep at concessional rates, many manufacturing units are expected to start exporting directly. Till now, costly machineries were unaffordable for MSME jewellery manufacturers. Out of the total production of gold jewellery in Rajkot, nearly 30 percent is being exported to different countries.
Rajkot’s jewellery cluster is providing employment to more than six lakh people. A large number of artisans migrated from West Bengal are employed with these jewellery making units situated in and around Saurashtra region’s commercial capital.