RESPONDING TO THE CALL OF TASK FORCE ON HALLMARKING, JEWELLERS TO GO ON TOKEN STRIKE ON Monday, 23 D AUGUST 2021 New hallmarking process (HUID) for jewellery hallmarking is NOT customer-friendly & against trade, MSME jewellers tell BIS & Govt. of India Customers buying jewellery being tracked through HUID, which jewellers oppose BANGALORE 23 August 2021: Jewellers will go on a token strike on Monday, 23″ August 2021 to protest against the arbitrarily implemented mandatory hallmarking process in the country by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). Mr. TA SHARAVANA President KARANATAKA JEWELLERS ASSOCIATION(R) said, “We welcome Hallmarking but not HUID (Hallmarking Unique ID). HUID is a ‘destructive process’ that the current mandatory hallmarking process offers NOO safety of jewellery. The element of cancellation of registration, penal provisions, search & seizure will ultimately bring “Inspector Raaj’ in the industry. The token strike is our peaceful protest against arbitrarily implementation of HUID, which is impractical and unimplementable. HUID is against customer interest and against the principle of ease of doing business. HUID is cumbersome and shall lead to harassment for customers and MSME jewellers. It is also illegal as per laws of land as this process interferes with data privacy and business secrecy of individual citizens. Jewellers feel, by registering with BIS, they have signed their death warrant in terms of losses and loss of livelihood.” Mr.BR PRAKASH SECRETAR KARANATAKA JEWELLERS ASSOCIATION(R) said, “Hallmarking has been made mandatory in 256 districts from 16″ June 2021 and it is estimated that yearly almost 10-12 crore pieces are manufactured in India. In addition, existing stock of almost 6- 7 cr. pieces are yet to be hallmarked. This takes the total count of pieces to be hallmarked in a year to almost 16 – 18 cr. pieces. Current speed/capacity of hallmarking centres is about 2 lac pieces/ day, at this speed it will take almost 800 – 900 days or equivalent to 3 -4 years to mark this years’ production. Currently the new marking system i.e., HUID is taking almost 5 to 10 days to hallmark the products, resulting into complete bottleneck and the industry is on standstill. Further, the higher turnaround period of a manufacturer will result into loss of employment and poor ROI, resulting into increasing cost of jewellery to the consumers. Tonnes of jewellery is lying idle due to delays in the existing hallmarking process and BIS is simply adding fire to our anxiety instead of resolving issues.”
Jewellers have welcomed the hallmarking and the growth in registration has gone to almost 250% from 34,000 to 88000 jewellers, which shows the jewellers commitment towards the consumers. However, the Hallmarking centres have been reduced, as 83 centres has been either suspended or cancelled. The new Hallmarking processes (HUID) involves cutting, melting and scraping of jewellery, which is intended to sell. The entire process of hallmarking is defeated when a jewellery has been damaged. Further, this process eliminates the Instant consumer friendly services, which is the biggest USP of this sector. Removal of jeweller’s name, from the jewellery will be detrimental to the interest of consumers when they wish to sell or exchange for want of identity of jeweller. Hallmarking should be based on point of sale as proposed by jewellers, while all other applications of storage, display, transit, exhibit to sale, manufacture etc, except sell be removed from the BIS Act and Regulation. Not only the consumers are at the receiving end, the 1 crore dependents on the G&J Industry’s livelihood will be at stake due to unimplementable compliances in the new marking process of hallmarking (HUID). The penal & criminal consequences on the jeweller, who has not manufactured or hallmarked the jewellery and sold it like a trader, will eventually result into winding up of businesses in fear of Inspector Raaj which has already begun. The draconian provisions of cancellation of registration for a civil offense is imposed on this trade, where just by a stroke of BIS officer, resulting into loss of livelihood of millions of employees, karigars and their dependents. Indian jewellery is an art form, and they are not homogenous, therefore industry has recommended to increase the Standard. example, for 22kt – 916 to 918. This is the industry’s commitment to offer quality jewellery to the consumers. Despite the jewellery Industry’s continuous demand to consider Niti Aayog’s report on Hallmarking to be a benchmark while framing the BlS Act, which has not been taken into consideration.
– TA SHARAVANA
KARNATAKA JEWELLERS ASSOCIATION (R)
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