Joining the nationwide protest over the implementation of Hallmarking Unique ID (HUID), some jewellers across Gujarat will observe a total shutdown. The nationwide strike call has been announced by the All India Gems and Jewellery Domestic Council (GJC) against the arbitrary implementation of HUID.
Jewellers have cited abysmal delays that are triggered due to the HUID implementation, causing piling up of gold at hallmarking centres in Gujarat and an increase in order pendency. Jigar Soni, president, Jewellers’ Association of Ahmedabad (JAA), said, “The procedure that has been laid out for obtaining hallmarking on jewellery is so cumbersome that the turnaround time for getting jewellery hallmarked has gone up to a minimum of five to seven days instead of a day. This is causing a massive increase in pendency of jewellery orders and our customers are forced to wait, as a result of which our business is hit.”
Industry estimates suggest that Gujarat is home to thousands of jewellers. Mandatory gold hallmarking came into force from June 16 in a phased manner and the government has identified some 256 districts from 28 States and Union Territories for the phase-1 implementation.
Zaverbhai Zaveri of Gujarat Jewelers Association and leaders of Ahmedabad Jewelers Association told the media that the law of HUID covers all the issues of cutting, melting and making of gold jewellery. In any case, if a customer gives his gold jewellery for repair, it is time to re-HUID jewellery with more than two grams as per this law. At the same time, the implementation of this law will start the implementation of Inspector Raj in the entire industry as well as the provision of criminal law against jewellers and the provision of immediate revocation of their licence.
This can lead to a situation where the jewellers are afraid of doing business and even the jewellers close down the business. Atul Shah, the President of the Vadodara Jewellers Association, says that “We are for purity and we welcome hallmarking. But we are against the wrong implementation of HUID as it will put at risk the security of customers.
If customers HUID gets hacked, any person can know that who purchased jewellery from a particular store which will put the life of the customer at risk and there will be no safety of the jewellery,” he said.
Dinesh Jain, the director of the All India Gems and Jewellery Domestic Council, says there was a lot of convenience for consumers before June. If they wanted to make a 24-inch chain 20 inches, the shop or showroom artisan could reduce its length. But now the process has become difficult.
Now that chain will be sent back to the laboratory for weighing. There it will be certified and then given to the customer. So that the matter of immediate change in jewellery will become a thing of the past. So this should be kept in mind while making jewellery. The laboratory currently takes more than 14 days for hallmarking. This work was previously only done in 24 to 48 hours.