Gold jewellery | Representative image
Amid the reports of jewellers deciding to go on a token strike on August 23 against the new hallmarking rules, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs on August 21 said that government’s hallmarking scheme — HUID — is turning out to be grand success.
Bureau of India Standards’ Director General Pramod Kumar Tiwari said over 90,000 Jewellers have also registered between July 1, 2021 to August 20, 2021. Adding more, he said that the during this period, jewellery pieces received for hallmarking and hallmarked reached to 1.17 crores and 1.02 crores respectively.
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Also, the number of jewellers — sent their jewellery for hallmarking — increased from 5,145 during July 1 to July 15 increased to 14,349 during August 1 to August 15, 2021, said the government release. As per to the government, nearly 4 lac pieces of jewellery getting hallmarked each day now.
“There has been gradual and satisfactory increase in the pace of hallmarking. During the fortnight 1st July to 15th July, 2021, 14.28 lakh pieces were hallmarked, but this number increased to 41.81 lakh during 1st August to 15th August. In a single day, on 20th August, 2021, 3 lakh 90 thousand jewellery pieces were hallmarked,” Tiwari said while addressing the press conference.
Sharing the details of the steps taken by the government to accommodate the genuine demands of the jewellery industry, DG, BIS said that hallmarking made mandatory only in 256 districts having an AHC.
“Hallmarking Unique ID (HUID) based hallmarking a win-win situation for everyone, as it brings about transparency in the functioning of the industry, ensures consumers’ right to get right stuff for their money and obviates the chances of Inspector Raj,” Tiwari said.
According to the new scheme, 20, 23 and 24 carats of gold jewellery allowed for hallmarking, while Indian standard amended to allow hallmarking of small mixed lots of same purity.
On the issue of tracking the B-t-B movement of jewellery and jewellers were required to upload the details of sales on BIS portal, the DG, BIS clarified, that it was a complete misinformation.
Apart from this, the government said that implementation of hallmarking is a work in progress and it is in a constant dialogue with jewellers and the benefits of scheme are being appreciated by most of the Jewellers. The government also assured that was fully committed to address the genuine demands.
Despite assurance, the National Task force — formed by 350 associations and federations representing four zones (East, West, North and South) of the entire gems and jewellery industry — doesn’t seem impressed with government’s move and is looking forward to ensure a smooth implementation of mandatory hallmarking across the country.
New rules around hallmarking have upset the jewellery industry as it faces teething issues in the implementation of the new norms.
Jewellers are particularly piqued by the rules around HUID a unique code that will be given to every piece of jewellery at the time of hallmarking. HUID will help identify the jeweller or the Assaying and Hallmarking Centres (AHCs) which had hallmarked the jewellery.
According to jewellers, while the government had assured that the process of HUID will be restricted to AHCs, they too are involved in it, as they have to tag their inventory (each of them) with a unique ID and upload the details on the BIS website and then send it to AHCs for hallmarking.