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Chaos and unrest in jewellery industry – Lack of clarity on the key aspects related to mandatory hallmarking

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GJC members met govt over hallmarking

BIS has had 3 meetings with around 20 member Expert Committee from 25th to 29th May 2021, where they brainstormed all the elements that the industry found impractical and needed amendments in the Regulations and the Act. BIS team headed by DG principally agreed to a large majority of the concerns and admitted to having the needful done so that it can be implemented in structured manner as required by BIS legal procedures. He asked the industry to be patient and look forward to clarifications from BIS in this regard.

Earlier this month on 15th June 2021, All India Gem & Jewellery Domestic Council (GJC), along with the expert committee of hallmarking had a detailed meeting with Hon. Union Minister of Consumer Affairs Piyush Goyal ji and DG BIS Shri Pramod Tiwari wherein many of the key concerns pertaining to Hallmarking regime were discussed and agreed upon, while mandatory Hallmarking was being implemented wef 16th June 2021.

The key issues concerns discussed and agreed upon were related to

1. Mandatory Hallmarking to be rolled out in 256 districts.

2. Fee and process of registration,

3. Applicability of hallmarking,

4. Allowance of additional karatages,

5. Time for disposal of old stock & its Hallmarking,

6. Time to be given to the industry till Sept. 1 ,2021 to adjust to the new law

7. Application of HUID to be restricted to AHCs,

8. Dilution of penal provisions and Search and Seizure provisions,

However, there has been only one order released from the BIS on 24th June 2021, which covers just a few of the agreed points.

Nitin Khandelwal

Nitin Khandelwal, Past Chairman, GJC, said, “There is a huge unrest in the industry. The Hallmarking has been made mandatory since 16th June 2021, and till today, there is no clarity on important aspects. Honourable Minister during the meeting on 15th June had confirmed that HUID would only be restricted to Hallmarking centre, and not on jewellers, however, there still seems no clarity on this as the process as it still involves Jewellers in certain elements of HUID. We are still facing problems and cannot get our jewellery Hallmarked anywhere. Along with earlier approved 3 karatages, 20, 23 and 24 k were also agreed by the Minister and DG BIS, this has not been made part of the order released by BIS while a Gazette is being awaited. There has also been a lot of webinars being conducted by BIS to enforce a new HUID process that is being imposed upon jewellers via Hallmarking centre route. There is still no clarity of how the Mandatory Hallmarking regime will work outside the 256 districts. There is a huge disconnect in what was agreed upon by the Minister and what is presented to the industry.”

Saiyam Mehra

Saiyam Mehra, Vice Chairman, GJC, added, “The applicability of hallmarking continues to loom the dark clouds of uncertainty in the industry. The wholesalers and manufacturers who generally stock jewellery in thousands are unable to get their jewellery hallmarked as the hallmarking centres under the current procedure of hallmarking is not able to give required output. The new HUID process being implemented may take weeks or months to get jewellery hallmarked. The industry has still not received any official clarity on the status for their old stock in trade. Hence, we humbly request Honourable Minister to kindly intervene and look into the pending matters on priority.”

During the meeting on 15th June 2021, it was conveyed that the Jeweller was allowed to sell their existing non hallmarked stock till 30th Aug 2021 which was also conveyed via press release from the Ministry, however all these important concerns are missing in the order and thus has created a scenario of unrest and panic amongst the entire Industry.

Courtesy: Retail Jeweller India News Service

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