Diamond sector grinds to halt as India’s lockdown bites

FINANCIAL TIMES 🔒| When Indian prime minister Narendra Modi ordered a national lockdown last month in response to the global coronavirus pandemic, Surat suffered an exodus as migrant labourers fled from urban areas to their rural hometowns. The city, one of the world’s fastest-growing, is the global hub of diamond manufacturing. Ninety per cent of all diamond cutting and polishing is done in India, mostly by artisans in Surat. But with no stones left to cut, many of these people left. About 200,000 diamond workers have departed to towns and villages in the surrounding state of Gujarat, according to Dinesh Navadia, head of the local industry association, as the global industry ground to a halt.

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