Chennai: Jewellers to go on token strike on Monday against the implementation of unique hallmarking ID — HUID — on assayed jewellery.
“We have always welcomed hallmarking as it has built our businesses and the confidence of our customers, but we cannot accept the new HUID as it has nothing to do with the purity of gold. The new HUID is a six-digit code, which the Bureau of Indian Standards feels will improve gold purity, but BIS cannot prove even one element of how it can improve the purity, apart from it being just a tracking mechanism,” said Ashok Minawala, member National Task Force on Hallmarking and past chairman, All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council (GJC).
HUID is against customer interest and against the principle of ease of doing business. HUID is cumbersome and shall lead to harassment of customers. It is also against data privacy and business secrecy of individual citizens. “By registering with BIS, jewelers feel that they have signed their death warrant in terms of losses and loss of livelihood,” he said.
The BIS had introduced HUID for each hallmarked jewellery piece from mid-June. BIS has created an app which helps to trace the jewellery with the HUID number.
Currently, the BIS officials can key in the number and get the details about the centre of assaying, date of assaying, caratage and other details as well as a photograph of the jewellery.
This helps the official to find out whether the hallmarking on the jewellery is fake or original.
“However, jewelers have been apprehensive about whether this element of traceability can lead to search and seizure by the government authorities. The fear of traceability also can curb the unaccounted sales in the unorganised sector,” said an industry expert.
According to Dinesh Jain, member, National Task Force on Hallmarking and director of GJC, HUID is not foolproof and there have been issues such as providing double HUID on the same piece and the same HUID on multiple jewellery pieces. “These issues have been already brought to notice of BIS. Further, the higher turnaround period of assaying will result in loss of employment,” he said.