Home » Protesting Hallmarking Action Centres urges govt to fulfill demands

Protesting Hallmarking Action Centres urges govt to fulfill demands

Hyderabad 28 September 2021: Hallmarking centres across Telangana conducted a token strike on Tuesday protesting against the newly introduced hallmarking policies of the government.
The government has said that hallmarking centres need to be located at the jewelry manufacturing centres only. This move will lead to the closure of many hallmarking centres that are located outside the manufacturing hubs, said Sunil Kumar Agarwal, Vice President of South Zone Indian Association of Hallmarking Centres Telangana Chapter.
Th Association also submitted a representation letter to the BIS Bureau of India Standards at Moula Ali on Tuesday.
The Hallmarking Action Committee (HAC) forum of various All India Associations of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) recognized gold hallmarking centres in the country.
Protesting against the new hallmarking process, city-based jewelers said the new hallmarking process requires gold retailers to obtain Hallmarking Unique ID (HUID), a six-digit code for every piece of hallmarked gold sold.
The Telangana Jewellers’ Association has extended its support of the nationwide protest which was observed on Tuesday as announced by the National Task Force on hallmarking comprising members of the gems and jewelry association across the country, said Sunil Agarwal.
Sunil Agarwal further said, “The HAC has taken up the issues of the hallmarking industry with the ministry and BIS, but a favorable decision is still awaited to highlight our main grievances and to seek the attention of the authorities, demanding this all the 950 BIS recognized hallmarking centres in the state went on one-day tools down token strike.”
According to him, reinstating the earlier system of hallmarking at the point of jewellery retail sales, to ensure better consumer protection. With the introduction of mandatory hallmarking from June 2021, the jewelry manufacturers and wholesalers are mandated to hallmark their goods before sending them to jewelers. Hence the hallmarking business has shifted to the 8 or 10 major jewelry manufacturing cities in the country, from where hallmarked jewelry is distributed to all the retailers across the country. He said but these manufacturers and wholesalers may not have any direct linkage with the retail jeweler or the end consumer.
Vinod Pawar member of the association said, “Jewellers are absolving themselves from the responsibility on the quality of hallmarked jewelry sold. Whereas jewelry business is done on trust for generations and it is always the end retailer and not the manufacturer who is responsible for the quality of jewelry sold to the consumers.”
Balu Sahab Kodag from the association demanded that jewelers shall not be permitted to set up their hallmarking centres, leading to self-certification or inhouse hallmarking of their jewelry articles. For the past 21 years, the BIS-recognized hallmarking centres have been doing 3rd party certification of jewelry articles, ensuring the credibility and authenticity of hallmarking activity.
Praveen Patil, Telangana State Co-ordinator of the HAC said, “Increasing the Hallmarking charges to minimum Rs. 60 per piece to ensure the viability of hallmarking centres : The existing Hallmarking charge of Rs.35 per piece is not sufficient to cover the higher expenses of HUID hallmarking. The higher investment on additional staff and machinery, insurance charges, and the extended working hours of HUID hallmarking have tremendously increased the operational expenses of hallmarking centres.”
He further explained that early decisions on the above matters are important to maintain the credibility and viability of the hallmarking industry and for the protection of consumer interest. The HAC feels that unless favorable decisions are arrived at, the hallmarking centres will be left with no option, but to continue the strike.
City-based jewelers and other association members including Rehman Habib, Shubham Muluk, Krishna, Anil Kodag, Viraj, Suresh Patil were present during the protest.

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