A Common Facility Centre (CFC), that will allow artisans and small-scale operators from the surrounding area to access the latest in diamond planning and cutting technology, has been opened in the town of Palanpur in Gujarat.

Sponsored by India’s Ministry f Commerce and Industry, the CFC, which is the second such facility to be set up, is a project of the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). A series of such centres is planned in the smaller towns that process diamonds. The first was set up in the town of Visanagar and more are planned in Bhavnagar, Bavsari and Junagarh. The government’s declared funding is for 15 such centres.

Minister of State for Commerce & Industry with independent charge Nirmala Sitharaman did the honours, accompanied by Minister of State for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Haribhai Chaudhary.

Kirit Bhansali, a member of the GJEPC’s Committee of Administration noted that after the setting up of the first CFC in Visanagar, the GJEPC has been receiving several representations for the setting up of more such facilities from other centres as well. He hoped that the plans for the next three Bhavnagar, Bavsari and Junagarh would be approved soon. He also called for an early release of the sanctioned funding amount.

Minister of State Sitharaman said that the CFCs would be a vehicle to take forward both the government goals of “Make in India” and “Skill India” in the diamond sector.

Minister of State for MSMEs Chaudhary, who also represents the Banaskantha constituency (within which Palanpur falls) in Parliament, said that the MSMEs were the backbone of the diamond industry, and that 93 percent of the production of this industry was exported.