Jewellers can sell only hallmarked jewellery and artefacts made of 14, 18 and 22 carat gold from January 15, 2021 and violation of this will attract penalty, Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said on Tuesday.
The hallmarking of gold jewellery being sold in the country will become mandatory from Wednesday but the jewellers will be given a year time to comply with the order, said Paswan.
Briefing reporters about the mandatory hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts in India, Paswan said a notification in this regard will be issued by the Department of Consumer Affairs on January 15, 2020. However, the jewellers will be given one year for implementation — till January, 2021.
He said once the notification comes in to force, gold and gold jewellery will be sold in only 3 categories — 14 carat, 18 carat and 22 carat. Earlier, jewellery was being sold in the 9-carat category, too.
The purpose of making hallmarking mandatory for gold jewellery and artefacts is to ensure that consumers are not cheated while buying gold ornaments, said Paswan.
Explaining the reasons for the one-year implementation period, Paswan said it will ensure that jewellers’ registration process can be completed and jewellers/retailers get time for clearing their old/existing stock and also so that assaying and hallmarking centres can be set up by private entrepreneurs at various locations where demand arises.
Priority shall be given to districts where such centres are not present.
According to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, as on December 31, 2019, there are 892 assaying and hallmarking centres in 234 district locations and, so far, 28,849 jewellers have been registered by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).
“The caratage is marked on jewellery in addition to fineness for convenience of consumers, e.g. for 22 carat jewelry, 22K will be marked in addition to 916, for 18 carat jewelry, 18K will be marked in addition to 750 and for 14 carat jewelry, 14K will be marked in addition to 585”, said a statement issued by the Ministry.
Paswan said a fine of Rs 1 lakh or five-times of the price of the gold article will be imposed on the jeweller who fails to comply with the hallmarking standard.