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It isn’t very often that a single incident has the power to shake the very foundations of an industry. The PNB-Modi-Choksi scandal is indeed a watershed moment for us. The aftermath of the fraud has left a trail of bad press, negative consumer sentiment, & worst of all, drying up of bank finance & working capital, which has badly affected the entire sector. The incident was a defining moment for the industry, which held intense discussions with bankers & the government prior to drafting a white paper on mitigating finance & credit risks that was released at the banking summit organised by the GJEPC in the month of May in Mumbai. The paper highlights particular issues such as credit limit, collateral security, related party transactions & valuation of stock, & also offers recommendations to iron out the concerns of all stakeholders. At the summit, the Council also announced that it had made MyKYC enrolment mandatory for all its members. Turn to our Cover Story for the summary of the banking conclave that chalks out many practical suggestions for streamlining processes, infusing transparency & maintaining the confidence of its stakeholders—all measures that will bode well for the industry. Come August, & the entire gem & jewellery industry will gear up for the IIJS Premiere show which is slated to be the largest ever. The addition of the new Hall 7A will open up 10,800 sq m of extra floor space. The GJEPC expects 40,000 plus visitors to attend the show. Years of speculation among industry pundits about De Beers’ possible entry into the synthetic diamond space were finally put to rest. De Beers announced that it would launch a new brand of lab-grown diamond jewellery called Lightbox. The brand will make its debut in the US market priced at a considerable discount to existing lab-grown diamonds. Will De Beers’ anointing of this market segment drive a large portion of possible natural diamond buyers towards synthetics? Only time will tell.

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