Gold hallmarking made mandatory to ensure consumers are not cheated, says Paswan

New Delhi [India], Jan 14 (ANI): Union Minister of Consumer Affairs Ram Vilas Paswan on Tuesday held a presser regarding mandatory hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts in India for which notification will be issued by the Department of Consumer Affairs providing a period of one year for implementation i.e. till January 2021.

"After January 15, 2021, no gold jewellery and artefacts will be sold without BIS hallmark. The gold will only be sold in three carats i.e. 14, 18 and 22. Under the BIS Act, the offender will be fined Rs 1 lakh which can vary accordingly and imprisonment," said HS Pasricha, Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).

Paswan said that the purpose of making hallmarking mandatory for gold jewellery and artefacts is to ensure that consumers are not cheated while buying gold ornaments and get the purity as marked on the ornaments, they are better informed about the purity of gold which will now be in only three caratage i.e. 14, 18 and 22, read a statement.

Explaining the reasons for the one-year implementation period, Paswan said that this will ensure that jewellers registration process can be completed and jewellers/retailers get time for clearing their old/existing stock and also so that "additional A&H centres can be set up by private entrepreneurs at various locations where demand arises and priority shall be given to districts where such centres are not present."

As on December 31, 2019, there are 892 Assaying and Hallmarking centres spread in 234 district locations across the country and so far 28,849 jewellers have been registered by Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), the statement added.

BIS (Hallmarking) Regulations, 2018 were notified with effect from June 14, 2018. BIS is running a hallmarking scheme for gold jewellery since April 2000. The BIS Act 2016 has enabling provisions under Section 14 and Section 16 for mandatory hallmarking of Gold jewellery & artefacts by the central government. This will make it compulsory for all the jewellers selling gold jewellery and artefacts to register with BIS and sell only hallmarked gold jewellery and artefacts.

The draft Quality Control Order (QCO) for mandatory hallmarking of gold jewellery and gold artefacts was hosted on WTO website on October 10, 2019, for comments for a period of 60 days. No comments have been received on the draft QCO, the statement said.

The caratage is marked on jewellery in addition to fineness for convenience of consumers. For example, for 22-carat jewellery, 22K will be marked in addition to 916, for 18-carat jewellery, 18K will be marked in addition to 750 and for 14-carat jewellery, 14K will be marked in addition to 585.

An awareness campaign on mandatory hallmarking for jewellers and common consumers will be organized at various locations across the country. BIS is also planning to outreach consumers through social media and other forms. (ANI)