Kerala gold jewelers seek time to shift to new HUID code

The Kerala traders’ body has urged the Center to allow gold jewelers to give ample time to dispose of their old stock with emblems of BIS certification, logos of jewelery and hallmarking centres.

The traders’ request comes in the wake of the Centre’s directive not to sell gold jewelery with these logos with effect from April 1. Raju Apsara, president of Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithy, said that this would lead to a huge crisis to jewelers in the State.

Editorial. No case for extending gold ‘hallmarking’ deadline

Majority of the gold merchants in the State are having stocks of jewelery with these certifications and erasing it for printing the new HUID 6-digit alphanumeric number will be costlier, forcing them to pay ₹45 plus GST for each ornament.

At present, gold jewelery are having logos of BIS, gold purity, jewellery, hallmarking centres. However, gold ornaments with these four emblems cannot be sold from April 1.

The traders’ body said the government should either allow traders to dispose of their existing stock with old certification or provide them an extension of one year, as the April 1 deadline for printing HUID number is too short to sell off their stocks.

Of the 766 districts in the country, Raju said only 256 districts have hallmarking facilities. and the Centre’s move would seriously impact jewelers in the State.

Surging prices

Meanwhile, the surging prices of gold in the international market has dampened the prospects of jewelery sales in Kerala, especially when wedding season is round the corner, which starts from April and extends to September.

S Abdul Nazar, Treasurer of All Kerala Gold & Silver Merchants Association, said the jewelery sales in the State is already witnessing a subdued demand from the last Onam season with a registered drop of around 80 per cent in sales. The two floods and the subsequent Covid pandemic have made a considerable impact on gold sales, which have not rebounded.

Majority of the households have reduced their gold purchase to half, even for wedding purposes. There has been a significant drop in cash purchase, he said, adding that the price increase of the yellow metal has further hit the sales.

To rejuvenate gold sales, Nazar said the association has started a campaign in line with Akshaya Tritiya called “Festival of Gold” for a one-year period to encourage families for purchasing ornaments.

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