Demonetization Hits Post-Diwali Holiday Return With 20,000 Jobless Surat Diamond Employees

More than 20,000 diamond workers from small diamond plants are jobless as their employers have not reopened their businesses following the Diwali vacation due to the effects of demonetization, The Times of India reported.

The government's decision in November to take banknotes of 500 and 1,000 rupees out of circulation in the fight against corruption and money-laundering has battered the diamond and jewelry industries where most transactions are in cash.

The Ratnakalakar Vikas Sangh (RVS), representing the diamond workers in Surat, has demanded unemployment allowance for the diamond workers.

RVS members will be submitting a memorandum to the district collector on Monday demanding unemployment allowance to the diamond workers rendered jobless due to the closure of around 1,500 small diamond units, .

Gajera said, "These small diamond units have been doing cutting and polishing of diamonds procured from the local market. Most of the units do job-work for the medium and big units. After demonetization, the units are facing a severe liquidity crunch due to the non-availability of cash in the banks. They (unit owners) are unable to pay wages to the workers. Thus, they have shut their units."