New Delhi [India], June 16 (ANI): The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution on Wednesday informed that hallmarking of gold has been made mandatory in 256 districts across the country from Wednesday.
Pramod Kumar Tiwari, Director General, Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) today addressed a virtual press conference and briefed the media persons about the Mandatory Hallmarking of Gold Jewellery scheme which has come into force from June 16.
DG, BIS while addressing the facets of Mandatory Hallmarking shared that mandatory hallmarking has initially started with 256 districts of the country, which have Assaying and hallmarking centres. He further added that Jewellers with annual turnover upto Rs 40 lakh will be exempted from mandatory Hallmarking. Export and re-import of jewellery as per Trade Policy of Government of India - Jewellery for international exhibitions, jewellery for government-approved B2B domestic exhibitions will also be exempted from mandatory Hallmarking. Watches, fountain pens and special types of jewellery viz. Kundan, Polki and Jadau will be exempted from hallmarking.
He further informed that the registration of jewellers will be one-time and there will be no fees will be charged from jewellers for registration. Any manufacturer, importer, wholesaler, distributor or retailer engaged in selling precious metal articles has to mandatorily get registered with BIS. However, artisans or manufacturers who are manufacturing the gold jewellery on job work basis for the jewellers and are not directly related to sale to anyone in the chain are exempted for registration.
While briefing DG, BIS said that the Hallmark shall be done at the first point of sale which may be manufacturer, whole-seller, distributor or retailer. Alteration in the Hallmarked jewellery up to 2 grams of increase or decrease to be allowed with responsibility of purity on the jeweller.
He further added that there has always been a high demand from jewellers to increase the grades of gold purity for hallmarking. Considering this, gold of additional carats i.e. 20, 23 and 24 will also be allowed for hallmarking.
The ministry in its release clarified that old un-hallmarked jewellery available in households can be sold to jewellers. Tiwari added that jewellers can continue to buy back old gold jewellery without hallmark from consumer and in order to give adequate time to the manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers of gold jewellery, there would be no penalties till August end.
While briefing the media about workflow automation of Assaying and Hallmarking Centres, the Director-General said that every job from receipt of jewellery to hallmarking will be computerized and complete trail of each job with date and time will be maintained. He said that the anonymity of the sample will also be maintained after assigning job number until the stage of hallmarking. He said from now onwards hallmark will include a six-digit code along with BIS Mark and purity and delivery voucher to be issued to jeweller for utmost transparency.
As per the official release by the ministry, "A committee constituting of representatives of all stakeholders, revenue officials and legal experts will be formed to look into the issues that may possibly emerge during the implementation of the scheme."Under the hallmarking scheme of the Bureau of Indian Standards, jewellers are registered for selling hallmarked jewellery and recognize testing and hallmarking centres. BIS (Hallmarking) regulations were implemented with effect from June 14, 2018. Hallmarking will enable consumers i.e. jewellery buyers to make the right choice and save them from any unnecessary confusion while buying gold.
The hallmarking of jewellery/artefacts have been required to enhance the credibility of gold jewellery and customer satisfaction through the third party assurance for the marked purity/fineness of gold, consumer protection. This step will also help to develop India as a leading gold market centre in the world.
As pe the ministry, there has been 25 percent increase every year in Assaying and Hallmarking centres in the last five years. The numbers of Assaying amd Hallmarking centres have increased from 454 to 943 in the last five years. At present 943 Assaying and Hallmarking centres are operative. Out of these, 84 Assaying and Hallmarking centres have been set up under the government subsidy scheme in various districts. (ANI)