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Home   » Struggle & History
 

GAPC-PAKISTAN STRUGGLE & HISTORY

Our struggle started from 1957 and in 1974 Lahore Sarafa Association, headed by Haji Manzoor Ahmad, was formally launched. After successfully passing through many stages, we 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 problems 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 solving 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 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 we 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 to increase export of jewellery. Therefore, a need was felt to form an organization for increasing exports of jewellery and talks were held with then Export Promotion Bureau (Now Trade Development Authority of Pakistan).

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.

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.

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. The event was attended by a large number of jewellers from Lahore and other cities of the country.

World Gold Council was for the first time introduced 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. 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 removed misunderstandings between the then government and the jewellers' community.

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 in December 2002.

In 1999 Smeda invited Lahore Division Sarafa & Jewellers Association to suggest ways and means to develop gems and jewellery sector. A strategy was chalked out for the development of this sector.

In 2004, the struggle for initiating gems 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 Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council, a subsidiary of Indian Commerce Ministry. Since then our efforts for the normalization of trade relations between the two countries in the field of gems and jewellery continues till today. We also proposed organizing Indo-Pak gems and jewellery exhibition to the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council, India. Another development in arranging the exhibition was the permission granted by the Indian Interior Ministry which was a great achievement in normalization of relations. On the other hand, when we contacted the top brass of the Ministry of Commerce, Government of Pakistan, for allowing free trade with India in the field of gems and jewellery sector, they expressed their inability under the political situation prevailing at that time. The fruit of our hard work in this regard is that today the people attached with the gems and jewellery sector in both countries are working for developing more trade ties among them.

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. This organization 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 due to political reasons. 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. However, in 2005 Indian Interior Ministry allowed organizing Indo-Pak Gem & Jewellery Exhibition, but it also faced the same fate.

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.

In addition to this, the GAPC-Pakistan signed a number of barter agreements as media partner with foreign organizations for introducing Pakistani gems and jewellery abroad. Elite Expo Sdn Bhd. Malaysia nominated our Council 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 a number of barter agreements with Expo Centre Sharjah for its Mideast Watch & Jewellery Shows. Another 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.

Gold Art Promotion Council-Pakistan signed barter agreement with Reed Exhibitions, Japan Limited, for the promotion of its events, International Jewellery Tokyo and International Jewellery Kobe in 2009 and 2010. Our delegation participated in their events.

Another landmark barter agreement was signed with Korean International Trade Association (KITA), Seoul in 2010. Our delegation attended Jewellery Fair Korea-2011. Now again we are in the process of signing another barter agreement for the next year, 2012.

In 2011 we inked barter agreement with GeMin +Oryktologika Nea-News on Minerals, Greece, for the publicity of their events in Pakistan through our website and vice versa.
Another barter agreement with Printer, France, was signed for the promotion of their events, Lyon Eurexpo & Palais Brongniart, Paris.

Vietnam Jewellery Association also joined hands with us for the publicity of Vietnam International Jewellery Fair-2011.

At the local level, Central & North Punjab Women Chamber of Commerce & Industry signed Memorandum of Understanding with us.

Moreover we have also decided to start business and international activities with Italian Pakistan Business Association (IPBA). This will lead to more business benefits to both the associations.

From 2007 our publication, Jewellery Review was started. We felt the need to bring out a magazine to highlight the problems of the community. Now it has been regarded as the best magazine in the gems and jewellery sector.

After seeing our long struggle, the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry gave us representation for the second term in its regional standing committee on gems and jewellery committee. Now through this platform we are working for the development of the gems and jewellery sector. In addition to this we are in touch with SMEDA for the same purpose. In addition to this, we have a number of other plans for the welfare of the gems and jewellery community.

The Gems and Jewellery Developing Company has given us representation in its Advisory Committee, which is a national level organization.

At the end, we would like to mention here that the recently held Indian Exhibition, “The India Show”, at the Expo Centre was the fruit of our efforts for the trade of gems and jewellery between the two neighbouring countries. This fact can be judged from the 40 per cent participation of gems and jewellery traders in the Indian participants.

This is the mission of our association to continue our struggle in the present national and international scenario. We want to develop the gems and jewellery industry of Pakistan on modern lines. Our website is proof of our working and it can be seen by visiting our website: www.gapcpaksitan.com


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