BIS rebuts jewellers claim on ‘capacity’, says 1 crore pieces hallmarked so far

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 22, 2021

These remarks came after the (GJC called for a nationwide ‘token strike’ on August 23

The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) on Saturday said the pace of hallmarking process for gold jewellery has picked up in the past 50 days and more than one crore jewellery pieces have been hallmarked. Currently, gold hallmarking is mandatory in about 256 districts in the country, which have assaying and hallmarking centres (AHCs), in the first phase.

Speaking to media persons at a virtual briefing, Pramod Kumar Tiwari, Director General, BIS, said, “Between July 1-August 20, over one crore jewellery pieces have been hallmarked at the assaying centres, while in the July 1-15 period, about 14.28 lakh pieces of jewellery got hallmarked under the HUID-based system. In the August 1-15 period, there was a three-fold increase and 41.81 lakh jewellery pieces got hallmarked.”

Call for ‘token strike’

These remarks came after the All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council (GJC) called for a nationwide ‘token strike’ on August 23 against the “government’s arbitrary implementation of mandatory hallmarking of gold jewellery with HUID (hallmark unique identification number).”

Responding to concerns raised by the industry on lack of capacity of AHCs, Tiwari said, “Of the 853 which received jewellery for hallmarking during August 1-15, only about 161 centres got more than 500 pieces of jewellery per day and more than 300 AHCs received less than 100 pieces per day. So, there is a lot of underutilised capacity in the country.”

“Looking at the pace of hallmarking, I do not believe there will be any problem in hallmarking 10 crore pieces of jewellery in a year, which is the estimated number of jewellery pieces that will be required to be hallmarked if hallmarking became mandatory across the country,” Tiwari added.

He added that HUID-based hallmarking is a win-win situation for everyone, as it brings about transparency in the sector, protects consumers’ interests and rules out Inspector Raj.

Stating that the government has been accessible and sensitive to the demands of the jewellery industry, he said added that consultation has been happening regularly with all stakeholders to address their grievances and challenges. “The call for strike by certain sections of the jewellery industry is uncalled for. They should reconsider their decision. We have been and will continue to have dialogue with all stakeholders to address their concerns,” he added.

Published on August 21, 2021

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