Hyderabad: Jewellers shut shop in protest against gold hallmark rule

Jewellery shops remained closed at Pot Market in Secunderabad as jewellers observed a strike on Monday
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Jewellery shops remained closed at Pot Market in Secunderabad as jewellers observed a strike on Monday

Highlights

Barring big corporates, most jewellery shops in major markets, including Siddiamber Bazar, Pot Market in Secunderabad and other places remained closed on Monday in response to a nationwide strike call given by 350-odd jewellery associations to protest the new gold hallmarking rules of the Centre

Hyderabad: Barring big corporates, most jewellery shops in major markets, including Siddiamber Bazar, Pot Market in Secunderabad and other places remained closed on Monday in response to a nationwide strike call given by 350-odd jewellery associations to protest the new gold hallmarking rules of the Centre.

The jewellery bodies are against the government's Hallmarking Unique ID (HUID) system which they said has nothing to do with the purity of gold but is just a tracking mechanism.

Talking to The Hans India, Pot Market Jewellers' Association president Ashok Jain said that they were not against hallmarking of gold but were against the HUID.

Explaining their objection, Jain said, "If a customer comes and takes an item and if he is not happy with it and wants to replace it, we cannot do that. We will have to show the replacement as a purchase. Some customers may request to cut down some gold in an item. But with the HUID, it will be impossible to reduce the size because it is registered in the hallmarking list and once a number is uploaded, we cannot resell it. The information of the shops will be in their hands. Don't know whether the government wants to control our business," he said.

They said the HUID was against customers' interest and against the principle of ease of doing business. They said that this would lead to harassment for customers, and medium and small jewellers.

The protesting jewellers will make a representation to district collectors against the gold hallmarking rules. Mandatory gold hallmarking, a purity certification of the precious metal, 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.

Owners of a jewellery unit of the Pot Market in Secunderabad G Dharam Raj Chaudhary and Mahender Rawal said there is a practical problem in implementing the HUID system. "Suppose a wholesaler has a hallmarked gold jewellery stock of 50 kg.

A retailer comes to him and buys 1 kg of jewellery. It takes a few minutes to give the stock but billing with HUID on each piece of jewellery takes hours," they said.

"Similarly, if a customer wants jewellery at a short notice for some function, it would not be possible as it would take at least three to four days to get the hallmark. Hyderabad has only 15 to 20 hallmarking centres," they added.

This problem is there at every stage from wholesaler, distributor, retailer to jeweller, they said and argued that the BIS has a mandate to ensure purity of gold to consumers and it should stick to that.

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