Jammu: Jewellers in Jammu shut their businesses and staged a demonstration on Monday in response to the one-day national strike against the “arbitrary implementation” of mandatory hallmarking of gold jewellery.
The protesters sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention in the matter.
The Sarafa Association Jammu Province and Swarankar Sangh Adhoc Committee Jammu jointly staged the peaceful protest at Jain Bazar, the main jewellery market in the old city, raising slogans against “arbitrary implementation” of HUID (hallmark unique identification number).
Mandatory gold hallmarking has come into force from June 16 in a phased manner. The government has identified 256 districts from 28 states and union territories for the phase-1 implementation. Gold hallmarking, a purity certification of the precious metal, was voluntary in nature so far.
“The new BIS Act does not go well with the recommendations of NITI Aayog. Implementation of new laws has been done in an arbitrary manner, especially the hallmarking of gold jewellery with HUID, wherein jewellers are finding it extremely hard to implement the same in letter and spirit, president Sarafa Association Jammu Raman Suri said.
He said the jewellers across India have been selling BIS-approved jewellery for almost 25 years and there is not even a single complaint by the consumers.
“These new provisions have become troublesome for both the jewellers and consumers equally. Moreover, there is no adequate infrastructure to implement the new provisions properly, he added.
The protesters said mandatory hallmarking of jewellery is a good step which is going to ensure the customer of guaranteed gold purity, but it is practically impossible to mark delicate jewellery items with HUID stamps, which is hampering the business.
They urged the government, especially BIS Director-General Pramod Kumar Tiwari, to revisit the Act and recommendations of NITI Aayog, so that real issues confronting jewellers are understood and then the laws are re-implemented after necessary amendments.