Chaos and unrest in jewellery industry

New Delhi, July 4 (IANS) BIS has had 3 meetings with around 20-member Expert Committee from May 25 to 29, where they brainstormed all the elements that the industry found impractical and needed amendments in the Regulations and the Act.
The BIS team headed by Director General Pramod Tiwari principally agreed to a large majority of the concerns and admitted to having the needful done so that it can be implemented in a structured manner as required by the BIS legal procedures. He asked the industry to be patient and look forward to clarifications from BIS in this regard.
On June 15, All India Gem & Jewellery Domestic Council (GJC), along with the expert committee of hallmarking had a detailed meeting with Union Minister of Consumer Affairs Piyush Goyal and DG BIS Pramod Tiwari wherein many of the key concerns pertaining to Hallmarking regime were discussed and agreed upon, while mandatory Hallmarking was being implemented w.e.f. June 16.
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 September 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 June 24, which covers just a few of the agreed points.
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 centres, 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 the 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, 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 are 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 the Honourable Minister to kindly intervene and look into the pending matters on priority.”
During the meeting on June 15, it was conveyed that the jeweller was allowed to sell their existing non hallmarked stock till August 30, 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.

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