Over 15,000 jewelers in Gujarat join nationwide strike against HUID
Over 15,000 jewelers across Gujarat kept their businesses shut on Monday as they joined the nationwide strike against the implementation of Hallmarking Unique ID (HUID) system, industry stakeholders claimed. The "token strike" against HUID was called by the All India Gem and Jewelry Domestic Council (GJC) and supported by various associations across the country, including Gujarat.
Nearly 6,000 jewelry shops, showrooms joined strike in Ahmedabad
"In Ahmedabad, nearly 6,000 jewelry shops and showroom owners joined the strike demanding a simpler hallmarking process. The call for strike was received well as the majority of the jewelers kept their businesses shut," said Jigar Soni, president of the Jewelers Association of Ahmedabad.
Around 3,500 shops, showrooms in south Gujarat remained shut
All prominent jewelry markets in Rajkot and various other cities also wore a deserted look since morning as shops remained closed. Industry stakeholders claimed that around 4,000 units in Rajkot and 3,500 shops and showrooms in entire south Gujarat, including Surat, remained shut. "Hundreds of jewelers in other parts of the state also extended their support and refrained from opening their outlets," they said.
'Not against hallmarking, but worried about newly introduced HUID'
"We are not against hallmarking. We are worried about the newly introduced HUID because it will consume a lot of our time and the process is also not simple," said Arvind Patadiya, a prominent jeweler from Rajkot.
Here is how the new HUID system will work
"Under this new system, a unique code will be given to every piece of jewelry at the time of hallmarking," he said, adding that the code will help in identifying the jeweler as well as the customer. "It will take over two weeks just to get a HUID stamp on a piece of jewelry. This will finish our business," he added.
It will bring the Inspector Raj back: Patadiya
He claimed this system will eventually bring the "Inspector Raj" back. "To keep a check on benami transactions, the HUID also carries information about customers. We want the government to make the process more simple and fast," said Patadiya. "I am confident that the Centre would take a favorable decision," he added.
HUID lacks clarity regarding modification of the jewelry: Choksi
Surat-based jeweler Dipak Choksi said the HUID lacks clarity on the modification issue. "Customers usually want us to incorporate some minor changes even after the jewelry is ready. This is a normal practice. But, there is no clarity in this new system whether such modifications are allowed after the jewelry is stamped with the unique ID," he said.