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Problems with hallmarking of jewellery can be solved through negotiations; don’t support any strike: IBJA

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Nearly 350 associations and jewellery federations have come out in protest of HUID, which is hallmarking unique identification. This was introduced a couple of months ago and while much of the jewellery is hallmarked, it is the HUID which is the jewellers are protesting against.

Nearly 350 associations and jewellery federations have come out in protest of hallmarking unique identification (HUID).
This was introduced a couple of months ago and while much of the jewellery is hallmarked, it is the HUID which the jewellers are protesting against.
In an interview with CNBC-TV18's Manisha Gupta, Surendra Mehta, Director of India Bullion & Jewellers Association (IBJA) said that the gem and jewellery sector is in the transformation stage. He said he is surprised to see leaders of other associations calling for a strike.
"Gem and jewellery sector is in the transformation stage. The Niti Aayog report was prepared in 2018 and the government is making a lot of effort to transform the entire industry - setting up bullion exchange, International Bullion Exchange (IBX), India Good Delivery mechanism and now this HUID and mandatory hallmarking for gem and jewellery sector. The government gave 19-years to the jewellery sector for this mandatory hallmarking but I am surprised that some of the associations don't want to give even 90-days to the government for proper implementation of the hallmarking mechanism. There are some glitches and issues but the government has always coordinated. The ministry and the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) authorities are in constant touch with the industry associations," he said.
"We had a 15-member committee which met almost 4-times with the BIS and minister. We have a 3-member expert committee that met almost 7 times and now the government is ready to make a permanent advisory committee that will have an industry representative also, so I don't know why some of the leaders of other associations are calling for the strike," he added.
He said problems can be solved through negotiations and IBJA does not support any kind of strike.
"Initially there were glitches and it was reported to the BIS that a maximum of one centre is able to do only 40-50 pieces hallmarking. Thereafter the server was changed and today altogether almost 3-4 lakh pieces are hallmarked but they are also not good in number but for that either they have to change the system of mandatory hallmarking on storage or increase the grammage from 2 grams to 5 grams or 10 grams. If the industry can negotiate with the government and come out with some formula then all the problems can be resolved. As an IBJA secretary, we do not support any kind of strike and we still believe that in a democratic setup, you need to talk to the government," added Mehta.
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