Commodities

Gold hallmarking centres to strike work on September 28 in protest against new norm

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on September 25, 2021

Centre decided to allow jewellery hallmarking at manufacturing sites rather than at the retailers’ end

 

After a series of protests by jewellers, hallmarking centres have now called for a one-day token strike on September 28 in protest against the Centre’s decision to allow jewellery hallmarking at manufacturing sites rather than at the retailers’ end.

This has led to associates of jewellery manufacturers opening hallmarking facilities close to manufacturing sites, leading to closure of independent stand-alone hallmarking centres.

Of the 970 independent centres in operation, about 720 are on the verge of closure due to dwindling demand.

Uday Shinde, President, Hallmarking Action Committee, told BusinessLine that the entire purpose of hallmarking will be completely defeated if the manufacturers are allowed to certify their own products.

Moreover, he said if a gold jewellery made in Mumbai is sold in Raichur and if there are issues over quality, the retailer in the city cannot be questioned as the buyer has to file the court case only in Mumbai.

Plans to intensify

Attempts to reach out to government officials and BIS officers failed and the one-day strike will be intensified if the issue is not resolved, he added.

In Mumbai alone, jewellery manufacturers have started 30-35 hallmarking centres through their associates and this trend is fast catching up in Kolkata and Chennai, Shinde said.

For instance, he said his own hallmarking centre in Mumbai — which had 700 customers — now has just 15 after manufacturers started their own centres.

“We request the Consumer Affairs Ministry not to allow jewellers or agency related to jewellers open hallmarking centres which will put the interest of consumers at risk,” he said.

Most of the hallmarking centres processing hallmarking unique ID are incurring huge losses and want the charges of ₹35 fixed in 2017 to be revised to ₹60. Besides lower volume, the portal for registering HUID is now taking 30 hours against the earlier 8-hour time, he said.

Published on September 24, 2021

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