Jewellers’ token strike partially successful
Corporate jewellers function as usual
The nationwide token strike called by jewellers on Monday was partially successful as large and corporate jewellers stayed away by opening their showrooms and carrying out business as usual.
However, jewellers from the MSME category responded overwhelmingly to the call of National Task Force on Hallmarking to protest against what they called arbitrarily implemented HUID (hallmarking unique ID) in the implementation of mandatory hallmarking process in the country by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).
The jewellers clarified that they were not against hallmarking but against HUID, which tracks every piece of jewellery, the customer, and jeweller, through the unique id.
MSME jewellers through their Sarafa Associations were seen observing the token strike in several cities.
Some shops were open in Zaveri Bazaar, the jewellery hub of Mumbai. In Vizag and many other cities, the big retail chains were kept open, according to available information.
Dinesh Jain, representing jewellers from the MSME segment, said: “The token strike received wholehearted support from over 300 associations in the east, west, south, central and north regions. Except for few corporates [jewellers], almost 90% stakeholders have remained closed today, demanding HUID to be replaced with successful and consumer friendly old 4 mark hallmarking.”
Muthu Venkatraman, representing Southern Region said “The complexity of hallmarking can only be understood by a jeweller.”
Samar Kumar De, representing the Eastern Region said that “Each and every corner of Bengal responded 100% in the strike.”
West Bengal MSME jeweller Subir Sen said, “We are all united and supported the strike. We all want a trade friendly norms.”
Members of All Kerala Gold & Silver Merchants Association (AKGSMA) Alappuzha District Committee protested by burning HUID order in front of BSNL central office and AKGSMA general secretary K. Surendran referred to Monday as a black day and all members wore black marks.
The National Task force was formed by 350 Associations / Federations representing all four zones of the entire Gems & Jewellery Industry. The objective of this committee is to ensure a smooth implementation of mandatory hallmarking across the country.