Diamond manufacturers are increasing wages by as much as 10 per cent to entice migrant workers to return to Surat.
Many thousands who returned to their villages because of the Covid pandemic are now busy sowing rice, maize, sorghum and other “kharif” crops.
Production of polished diamonds in India is reportedly dropped by 20 per cent during the second wave of coronavirus, and has yet to fully recover.
Manufacturing in may parts of India has been hit by curfews limiting the opening hours of industrial units.
Dinesh Navadiya, regional chairman (Gujarat) of Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) told the Economic Times newspaper: “Production of polished diamonds got affected in the second wave of covid and it is still down by 20 per cent. We want the migrant workers to return but unless the Kharif sowing is over, they are unlikely to come back.”
However he said reduced production would prevent inventory piling up.