The government said on Tuesday it is fully prepared to implement compulsory hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts from June 1, amid rumours that the scheme’s rollout could be delayed. Hallmarking for gold jewellery started in April 2000 as a voluntary scheme; around 40% of gold jewellery sold in the country is being hallmarked at present.
“No extension has been sought. The Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS) is already fully energised and involved in giving approvals to jewellers for hallmarking,” said consumer affairs secretary Leena Nandan.
BIS director general Pramod Kumar Tiwari said, “We are fully prepared to implement the mandatory hallmarking. In the next two months, we expect registration of jewellers to reach about one lakh.”
So far, 34,647 jewellers have registered with the BIS, which has made the process of registration online and automatic.
In November 2019, the Centre had notified that hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts would be made mandatory across the country from January 15, 2021. The deadline was extended till June 1 after jewellers sought time in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
India is the largest importer of gold, mainly owing to the demand of the jewellery industry which imports 700-800 tonne annually.
Mandatory hallmarking will mean that jewellers will be able to sell hallmark certified 14-, 18- or 22-carat gold jewellery, while there is no such rule now. According to BIS officials, the mandatory hallmarking will protect the public against lower caratage and ensure consumers are not cheated and get the purity as marked on the ornaments.
Meanwhile, a booklet on BIS reforms was also launched during the media address. Tiwari said services of BIS standards are now available free of cost for everyone and the agency has nearly 21,000 Indian standards. He said the ‘One Nation, One Standard’ scheme has been launched to harmonise the standard formulation work in various organisations.
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