The hallmarking of gold jewellery will be made mandatory across the country from January 15, 2021, said Ram Vilas Paswan, Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, on Friday.
Announcing the roll-out plan for mandatory hallmarking of gold, Paswan said hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts is being made mandatory for which a notification will be released by the Department of Consumer Affairs and a period of one year will be given for its implementation.
“We will issue a notification on January 15 next year. One year period will be provided for implementation. From January 15, 2021, this will become mandatory,” Paswan said.
Earlier this month, Paswan said the Centre is finalising a road map to make hallmarking mandatory from December 15, 2019. He said one-year time will be given for jewellery retailers to clear their existing stocks.
The government had made a provision of making hallmarking mandatory under Section 14 and Section 16 of the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 2016.
Once the notification is issued, it will be compulsory for all jewellers selling gold jewellery and artefacts to register with BIS and sell only hallmarked gold jewellery and artefacts.
According to an official statement, the draft Quality Control Order for mandatory hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts has been hosted on WTO website on October 10, 2019 for comments for a period of 60 days.
Under the proposed rules hallmarking for gold jewellery will be done in three categories — 14 carat, 18 carat and 22 carat. Before January 2017, hallmarking used to be done in 9 carat, 14 carat, 17 carat, 18 carat and 23 carat.
BIS has been running a hallmarking scheme for gold jewellery since April 2000 but hallmarking of gold is voluntary as of now.
According to the Department of Consumer Affairs, as on October 31, 2019, there are 877 assaying and hallmarking centres spread in 234 district locations across the country and, so far, 26,019 jewellers have taken BIS registration.
“Hallmarking will benefit poor people in villages and small towns who are not able to make out the purity of gold they have been buying”, he added.