The Narendra Modi Government has decided to make Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) hallmarking mandatory for gold jewellery and artefacts from January 15, 2021. The move would protect the consumers from buying inferior quality ornaments and compel the jewellers to maintain legal standards of fineness.
Department of Consumer Affairs:
According to Department of Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, the Department of Consumer Affairs will issue a notification by January 15, 2020, for making gold and artefacts hallmarking mandatory. “Jewellers and retailers will be given one year time to exhaust their existing stocks,” he added.
The Government plans to implement gold hallmarking in four phases, starting with the metro cities. Asked about the penalty in case of violation, a senior BIS official explained that there is a provision for a fine of a minimum Rs 1 lakh.
He said the fine may go up to five times of the value of article as well as one year jail under the BIS Act passed last year.
According to the BIS Act, 2016, jewellers are required to mark gold under three measurements – 14 carat, 18 carat and 22 carat. A carat is a measurement indicating the proportion of gold in an alloy out of 24 parts. So, an 18-carat gold is 18/24 parts gold
Assaying and hallmarking centres:
There is 877 Assaying and hallmarking centres spread in 234 districts across the country to help more jewellers register themselves for the BIS hallmarking licence. At present, there are only 26019 jewellers across the country who has registered with the BIS.
Indian demand for jewellery was down 32 per cent at 101.6 tonnes in the quarter ended September, according to the World Gold Council.
The Government has earlier notified to the World Trade Organisation its intention to implement mandatory hallmarking for gold jewellery and artefacts to be sold across the country.