THE STATE government is contemplating delegating powers to the Bharat Diamond Bourse in Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) to grant permission for transfer, mortgage, leave, and licences to various traders operating out of it. Currently, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), which is authorised to grant these permissions, is inundated with applications.
The state has suggested that for giving any such permission, the Bharat Diamond Bourse will pay the MMRDA a certain amount as fee. A proposal to this effect is being drafted by MMRDA and is awaiting clearance from state government.
If this power is handed over to the bourse, the workload on MMRDA will reduce, allowing its officials to concentrate on their primary work of urban planning.
Started in 2010, over 4,000 diamond traders operate out of the bourse. “If Bharat Diamond Bourse is given the power, it will make the process much faster…There are thousands of offices in just one building so empowering the Bharat Diamond bourse will also promote the industry,” said MMRDA Commissioner S V R Srinivas.
The state government’s move is also being seen as an attempt to retain merchants in the city in the light of the competition the BKC-based bourse is facing from the newly constructed diamond bourse in Surat which is trying to incentivise diamond traders to move away from Mumbai.
“Almost 80 per cent of loose diamond dealers have already shifted to Surat. The BKC bourse is a big revenue source for the Maharashtra government, but it is shifting and the major cause is cost of property. This situation would not have arisen if the property cost had been kept in check,” Manoj Jha, a diamond trader who operates from Bharat Diamond Bourse, said.