Diamond traders hope to clear the air with banks

KOLKATA: Leading diamond exporters are scheduled to meet the heads of banks next month to discuss financing issues after the Rs 13,700-crore fraud at PNB saw lenders tighten norms. Several banks have lowered their credit limits to the diamond trade after the scam, allegedly masterminded by Nirav Modi, came to light in February.

The proposed meeting on May 11 will include top executives of global diamond giant De Beers who are expected to explain the dynamics of the diamond trade, the market scenario and global demand.

Confirming the development, Sabyasachi Ray, executive director, Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council, said, “Commerce minister Suresh Prabhu is expected to be present at the meeting. We will come out with a white paper on lending for diamond trade at the meeting.”

India exports 90 per cent of the world’s polished diamonds worth $ 23 billion. The country’s diamond polishing units employ 5 million people who help process 1 billion stones each year.