Home >News >India >Why jewellers are observing ‘token strike’ against new gold hallmarking rules

Unhappy with the new hallmarking rules and specifically the norms around the Hallmarking Unique ID (HUID), jewellers across the country have decided to go on a ‘token strike’ today, August 23, the All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council (GJC) said on Friday.

Who all are supporting the gold jewellers strike?

The strike will be supported by 350 associations and federations from all four zones of the entire gems and jewellery industry, the GJC claimed.

Why are jewellers on strike?

According to jewellers, they cannot accept the new HUID as it has nothing to do with the purity of gold. The BIS feels the new HUID will improve gold purity but jewellers think it is just a tracking mechanism.

"The one-day token strike is our peaceful protest against the arbitrary implementation of HUID (hallmark unique identification number), which is impractical and unimplementable," Ashok Minawala, past Chairman of GJC, said in a statement, PTI reported.

The jewellers say that the new HUID system HUID is not fool-proof as there have been lots of issues such as double HUID on the same piece, same HUID on multiple pieces of jewellery etc. 

Mumbai Wholesale Gold Jewellery Association President Prakash Kagrecha said jewellers have welcomed the hallmarking. However, the new HUID process involves cutting, melting, and scraping of jewellery, which is intended to sell. "The entire process of hallmarking is defeated when jewellery has been damaged," he said, news agency ANI reported.

Chennai Jewellers Association questioned how privacy would be maintained if the HUID is in place.

Speaking to ANI, Chennai Jewellers Association Chief Uday Vummidi said, "We will protest as we face inconvenience in the process of HUID. We promote hallmarking as it signifies purity. However, HUID signifies traceability. Who is selling the product and who is buying the product...all will be recorded. The end customer becomes a part of the process. Buying gold is a culture in India. You cannot be asking all customers that give your phone number, valid id, etc."

"If we collect this information, we must be ensured that the privacy of a customer is maintained properly. With the ongoing Pegasus row, we also think about the privacy of our customers. I want the government to assure us that the privacy of the data will be maintained," said Vummidi.

What is gold hallmarking?

Gold hallmarking, a purity certification of the precious metal, was voluntary in nature so far. Jewellers selling non-certified products are to face fines from September.

Mandatory gold hallmarking has come into force from June 16 in a phased manner. The government has identified 256 districts from 28 states and union territories for the phase-1 implementation and is applicable to jewellers with an annual turnover above 40 lakh.

4 lakh pieces of jewellery get hallmarked each day now

Meanwhile,  nearly 4 lakh pieces of jewellery are getting hallmarked each day now, said Director-General, Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), Pramod Kumar Tiwari on Saturday regarding the progress made in hallmarking in India.

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