Thursday, November 30, 2023

Jamshedpur Jewellers observe ‘token strike’ against new gold hallmarking rules

Jamshedpur, Aug 23: The glitter of jewellery shops was missing at Sakchi and Bistupur markets on Monday as hundreds of showrooms and shops remained closed to the new hallmarking rules and specifically the norms around the Hallmarking Unique ID (HUID).

Over 300 jewellers and bullion traders today resorted to protest against the new hallmarking rules and specifically the norms around the Hallmarking Unique ID (HUID). The jewellers across the city observed a ‘token strike’ today.

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,” said an official of Jamshedpur Jewellers Association.

The jewellers said 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.

He 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.

Jamshedpur Jewellers Association questioned how privacy would be maintained if the HUID is in place. “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 ask all customers that give your phone number, valid id, etc.”

“If we collect this information, we must ensure 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 the official.

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.

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