Ahmedabad, Dec 27 (PTI) Gujarat's DREAM (Diamond Research and Mercantile) City project, spread over 685 hectares in Surat, has been envisaged as a futuristic urban centre to meet the growing demand of the diamond industry, officials said.
DREAM City seeks to achieve an annual turnover surpassing Rs 2 lakh crore by giving a major push to Surat's diamond industry, which accounts for 72 per cent of the world's share of processed diamonds and acts as a global powerhouse in diamond production, they said.
It also highlights global best practices in the conception, perception, and development of cities, the officials said.
Surat Diamond Bourse (SDB), which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 17 is part of the DREAM City and is India's second diamond trading hub offering direct employment to 1,50,000 individuals.
As per the industry estimates, around 90 per cent of Gujarat's diamonds are processed in and around Surat, providing employment to over nine lakh people. Eight out of 10 diamonds in the world are processed in Gujarat, with the state contributing 80 per cent of India's total diamond exports.
Officials said that implementation of the infrastructure project for the DREAM City will take place in a phased manner by year 2040, with projects worth Rs 400 crore being executed in two phases.
According to them, as 60 per cent of Gujarat is likely to get urbanised by 2035, the state is adopting sustainable models for city development, focusing on strategic urban planning and design, efficient waste management, and the establishment of green spaces.
"There are so many cities in Gujarat where the diamond finished product is being made. Around 80 per cent of our polished diamonds are reinvested in the world. The jewellers here in Gujarat have made their mark in the market. There is a huge opportunity for processed diamonds in Gujarat," state minister Rushikesh Patel said.
Addressing a public rally in Surat in September last year, PM Modi had said that DREAM City will help Surat emerge as "the safest and convenient diamond trading hub in the world".
"With the vision to cater to the booming demand for commercial and residential spaces as a supplement for swift development of diamond trading business in Surat, the state government formed a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) named DREAM City Limited with initial paid-up share capital of Rs 100 crore," an official release said.
Industry experts believe that India's polished diamond export reached USD 37.73 billion in the fiscal year 2022-23, and the recent Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the UAE is expected to further boost the exports, targeting an ambitious USD 52 billion.
"I saw today how more than 1,200 people are working here. Exports will be easy for us, and many people will shift to Surat in future. It will be attractive for both the buyers and sellers," Ali Roze, a diamond trader from Turkey, said about SDB that is located inside the DREAM City. PTI KA NP