September 18, 2021 3:25:38 am
Union minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal on Friday said that hallmarking of jewellery is necessary but assured that its implementation will be gradual, and that no action will be taken against trade bodies till November 30. Goyal’s statement came nearly a month after jewellers’ associations in Gujarat joined a one-day symbolic strike as part of nationwide protest called by jewellers against the “arbitrary implementation” of the hallmarking process by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).
Speaking at an event organised by the Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Surat, Goyal said, “Many people purchase jewellery items, and for assurances of the product, hallmarking is necessary. It will be implemented gradually, as the trade bodies should also become habitual to it… I have specifically instructed officials that till November 30, no action should be taken on trade bodies for hallmarking. Slowly people will be habitual… Till November, the old stocks in the jewellery items will be finished and then if you go to the shops you will feel safe and get hallmark jewellery items with the correct quality.”
He also appealed to industries to make maximum use of the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme, stating, “If we want to compete at the international level, we have to create more pressure on the quality of our products. If big industries come up, good quality of machinery is used in the manufacturing sector, our quality of product will match international standards. Keeping all this in mind we have made a PLI scheme. If Rs 100 crore is more for individuals, they should make a group of five partners and avail benefits of it.”
On a demand by Plastic industrial Association president Kishor Vaghani for a BIS standard for exports, the Union minister said, “We are firm that second-grade goods should not be manufactured or imported and exported in India. If somebody comes up with the proposal of a BIS mark, we are ready to help them and we will align with world standards so that your product matches international standards.”
He also said that the government is currently in negotiations with countries like the UK and UAE for a free trade agreement (FTA). “FTA is two sides and not one side. We ask the industry players what are our requirements in terms of raw materials for getting imported from the other countries, and we will negotiate with them,” he said.
When the topic of under-invoicing was raised, Goyal said he will talk to officials at the Directorate General of Foreign Trade officials, adding, “I firmly believe that each and every person staying in our country is honest and he works honestly. Due to some circumstances, few of them change their tracks and indulge in the unethical way of doing business, and they create problems for others. It is our responsibility that if anybody works in the wrong way, we should stop him and steps will be taken on them.”
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