Mumbai: The average salary in Indian gems and jewellery industry at Rs 2.52 lakh per annum is the lowest among other manufacturing industries. Pharmaceuticals, capital goods and electronics are the lucrative sectors offering higher pay package to young workers in the manufacturing sector. The average salary offered by Pharmaceutical companies is Rs 5.09 lakh while average salary is Rs 4.94 lakh offered by capital goods, electronics (Rs 4.43 lakh), chemical (Rs 3.97 lakh), automotive (Rs 3.77 lakh), construction material (Rs 2.88 lakh), metal and metal products (Rs 2.54 lakh), noted an ASSOCHAM-Thought Arbitrage joint study.
“Unhygienic working conditions and limited compliance with health and safety standards have also led to low interest in the industry,” highlighted the study titled ‘Gems & jewellery industry: Contributing to Make in India,’ conducted by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) jointly with Thought Arbitrage Research Institute (TARI).
Further, the study has raised some points that have potential damage the sector to a greater extend. The report mentioned that excessive and prolonged exposure to lethal chemicals and gases can lead to ailments like lung tissue damage, kidney damage and lung cancer thereby making the industry less attractive and not an employer of choice for the younger generations.
Unorganised players and small-scale enterprises are not using sufficient cutting edge technology and high quality materials in their manufacturing processes, which is an another key reason behind lower growth of the gems and jewellery sector in India.
“Sustainable growth of any industry needs continuous supply of new talent with skills and ground-breaking ideas,” said Mr D.S. Rawat, secretary general of ASSOCHAM while releasing the findings of the study. “Manual methods of cutting, polishing, manufacturing and designing of gems and jewellery need to be replaced with high-end machines and software by imparting practical training to the youth in use of laser machines and other modern techniques prevalent globally,” said Mr Rawat.
The ASSOCHAM-TARI joint study has suggested some measures that need to be taken to revive the sector. One of the steps is that systematic and collective investments in skill development through increased training and manpower development programs in the gems and jewellery is the need of hour.
The study has further recommended that providing safety kits with daily-use equipment like goggles, gas masks, gloves, lab coats and others to the workers. These above mentioned measures can minimize negative impacts on workers’ health, woo growing young population and retain existing workforce, thereby resulting in low labour turnover, improved efficiency and productivity and high output.
Rise in employment across Indian economy because of rise of Rs 1 of demand in gems and jewellery industry can lead to more than five times rise in employment within the sector, concluded the ASSOCHAM-TARI study.