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Home   » Lahore Division Sarafa & Jewllers Association
 

Lahore Division Sarafa & Jewllers Association

This organization, Gold Art Promotion Council-Pakistan, along with its parent organization, Lahore Division Sarafa & Jewellers Association, is please to contact you to dispel the negative propaganda launched against us. First of all we would like to give a brief account about our organization’s working and development of the gems & jewellery sector.


Our struggle started from 1957 and in 1974 we formally launched Lahore Sarafa Association, headed by Haji Manzoor Ahmad. After successfully passing through many stages, it started working at the district level on July 25, 1975, and then at the division level. Its name was changed to Lahore Division Sarafa & Jewellers Association on July 30, 1976, and a number of jewellers associations merged in it. At that time the jewellers were facing the threat of police harassment and this association solved their problem amicably.


After working at the platform of Lahore Division Sarafa & Jewellers Association and resolving issues confronting the jewellers’ community, during Yahya regime, it resolved the issue of 25% Excise Duty on jewellers and after one month jewellers’ strike it was converted into 10% Sales Tax.
During Bhutto government the new gram system was successfully introduced by the Lahore Division Sarafa & Jewellers Association, replacing the old tola, masha and rati. Lahore Division Sarafa & Jewellers Association also issued a pamphlet, removing the confusion and resolving the old dispute originating between the customer and the shopkeeper at the time of sale of old jewellery and purchase of new one.


This organization also helped resolved the controversy of section-410 to 414, regarding police harassment of sarafa jewellers. It got issued special instructions in this regard first from the IG Punjab and then from the Lahore High Court. The jewellers heaved a sigh of relief after this decision.
The temporary surcharge imposed on the jewellery business during Bhutto government was got abolished with the efforts of the Lahore Division Sarafa & Jewellers Association during the tenure of President Zia-ul-Haq. For this purpose, this organization had to launch a long struggle.
Here I would like to mention a fact that, no doubt, it gives an impression from its name that Lahore Division Sarafa & Jewellers Association is a division level organization, but it handled all the national issues in an amicable manner. All the above mentioned historic and memorable achievements will be written with golden words.


On April 26, 1986, a delegation of Overseas Import Fair, Berlin, headed by Ms Armaga Graft, visited Lahore and held talks with Lahore Division Sarafa & Jewellers Association. They expressed complete confidence in the craftsmanship of Pakistani jewellers and advised the Association members to raise export of jewellery. Therefore, a need was felt to form an organization for increasing exports of jewellery and talks were held with Export Promotion Bureau.

On May 23, 1992, our association held talks with the government on its proposal to set up jewellery developing institute and the institute was established. However, this project worth Rs 27 million was shelved by going into the hands of those people who had their own axed to grind. It was a great loss of the community and these people were responsible for the backwardness of this sector.
Our organization sent appeals to the then government to declare jewellery sector  as industry in 1992 and it was our efforts, which bore fruit in 2005 in the form of inclusion of our demand in the Trade Policy-2005-06. No other jewellers association ever demanded such status for this sector and the credit goes to our Council, as it was historic decision.


De Beers, the largest international diamond mining company, organized a function, Trade Launch, at Crystal Hall, Pearl Continental, Lahore, in collaboration with Muhammad Ahmad, Chairman Lahore Division Sarafa & Jewellers Association, on May 3, 1998. Junaid Gul, Manager, De Beers-Pakistan conducted the function and gave briefing about the promotional activities of the company. The event was attended by a large number of jewellers from Lahore and other cities of the country.

Recognition of our services to the cause of the jewellers’ community is that the World Gold Council was introduced for the first time in Pakistan by the Lahore Division Sarafa & Jewellers Association at its First National Jewellers Seminar and Award distribution ceremony-1998. The World Gold Council also sponsored 50 awards on this occasion, which were awarded to those who excel in their art. No other organization in Pakistan could achieve this honour. At this function Smeda made its first public appearance on their request.


In 1998, Lahore Division Sarafa & Jewellers Association held successful talks with the government on the GST issue and foiled the efforts of those anti-state elements who wanted to prolong misunderstandings between the then government and the jewellers' community. Those elements wanted to misuse the struggle of the community and continue strike for the achievement of their nefarious designs. The credit goes to Chairman Lahore Division Sarafa & Jewellers Association, Muhammad Ahmad.


In 1999, Lahore Division Sarafa & Jewellers Association successfully organized Zargali, a jewellery designs contest in Lahore in collaboration with the World Gold Council. Later in 2000 Gold Hi Gold Mela was organized in Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad and Faisalabad.
After the expiry of Lahore Division Sarafa & Jewellers Association founder President, Haji Manzoor Ahmad in 1993, another chapter of long struggle started. Later, a need was felt to constitute a national level organization in 1997. Therefore, Gold Art Promotion Council-Pakistan was formed to carry forward the mission of Lahore Division Sarafa & Jewellers Association with its formal registration in December 2002.

In 1999 Smeda invited Lahore Division Sarafa & Jewellers Association to form   to suggest ways and means to improve to develop gem and jewellery sector. We prepared the strategy for the development of this setor. Owing to the inclusion of those elements who had always kept their interest supreme, joined Smeda and we decided to quit the organization.   


In 2003, the struggle for initiating gem and jewellery trade relations between Pakistan and India was started from the platform of Gold Art Promotion Council-Pakistan. For this purpose a contact was made with the Indian Council for Gem and Jewellery.
 After one year’s hectic efforts a formal contact was made and two delegations of  the GAPC-Pakistan toured India and visited the training centres being run by them. We also struggled for starting Indo-Pakistan gem and jewellery trade and met top brass of the Ministry of Commerce, the then Export Promotion Bureau and other concerned departments, but all our efforts proved futile as there was no official response. In 2008, GAPC-Pakistan took a 61-member strong delegation to India to participate in The Gem  & Jewellery Export Promotion Council of India exhibition, India International Jewellery Show.

In fact, we were discouraged by the cold shoulder shown by the official quarters. However, in 2005 Indian Interior Ministry allowed organizing Indo-Pak gem & Jewellery Exhibition, but our bureaucracy discouraged us in this regard. (Indian jewellery magazine clippings, etc attached)        
In 2005 the GAPC-Pakistan services have been recognized by granting the membership to Gold Art Promotion Council-Pakistan in Smeda Strategy Working Organization Group set up for the development of jewellery industry. Muhammad Ahmad worked with SWOG and as a result the Gem & Jewellery Developing Company was formed.  Mr Farrukh, Manager Smeda Gem and Jewellery sector, informed World Gold Council about the genuineness and fairness of our Council. However after sensing some foul play we took up the embezzlement issue in the national press and decided to leave SWOG. This effort was welcome throughout the country.


In addition to this, the GAPC-Pakistan signed a number of barter agreements as media partner with foreign organizations for introducing Pakistani gem and jewellery abroad.  Elite Expo Sdn Bhd. Malaysia has nominated Gold Art Promotion Council-Pakistan its sole representative in Pakistan for its Malaysia International Jewellery Fairs. Second barter agreement was inked with Pan American Enterprises for its Tucson jewellery shows. Another barter agreement was signed with CEMS for its Singapore International Jewellery Show. In addition to this we signed more barter agreement with Expo Centre Sharjah for its Mideast Watch & Jewellery Shows. The last but not the least the recent big achievement was made by inking agreement with media partner (Supporter) for International Fashion Jewellery & Accessories Fair & Watch Clock Fair Dubai, UAE and International Fashion Jewellery & Accessories Fair & Watch Clock Fair, Casablanca, Morocco.


We assure you that with your cooperation we will put in all our best efforts to achieve all the benefits for this industry. At the end, we could say that all these achievements of our organization are totally in the national interests and there is not a single example, which could be quoted against us. Our forefathers were attached with the gems and jewellery sector  and  all our efforts are solely for the development of this sector. Some elements, who have looted this sector in the past, are propagating against us to create some misunderstanding. Kindly do not give any pay any heed to their baseless propaganda. Under the given circumstances of the gem and jewellery sector, if anyone is also earning his livelihood from other means like property, etc,  there is no harm in it.  We will come up to your entire satisfaction and with the above mentioned facts you would be able to access our working and performance.

 


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