Bhopal: In response to nationwide strike, jewellers went on a strike on Monday to protest against what they called the “arbitrarily implemented mandatory hallmarking process” by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).
The strike call was given by National Task Force on Hallmarking formed by 350 associations and federations of jewellers representing all four zones of gems and jewellery industry.
In Bhopal, jewellers shut down shops as mark of protest. The jewellers are upset that despite 10 meetings held, no relief was granted in writing by BIS or ministry of corporate affairs on Hallmarking Unique ID (HUID) issue.
They said BIS being a standard and quality assurance institution is playing the role of a revenue department and the gem and jewellery industry has become a soft target. Jewellers said they had waited for almost two months with complications piling up and “impractical laws” that have pushed the industry on brink of collapse.
Bhopal Sarafa Association president Naresh Agrawal said hallmarking is good as it has built their business and gained confidence of customers but traders cannot accept the new HUID as it has nothing to do with purity of gold.
The new HUID is a 6-digit code, which BIS feels will improve gold purity but BIS cannot prove even one element of how it can improve the purity, apart from it being just a tracking mechanism.
He further said that the new process has been made destructive. “Cancellation of registration, penal provisions, search and seizure will ultimately bring inspector raj in the industry,” he added.
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