In a bid to further protect the jewellery buyers from buying inferior quality ornaments, the Narendra Modi-led NDA government has decided to make BIS hallmarking mandatory for gold jewellery from January 15, 2021.
According to Union Minister of Consumer Affairs Ram Vilas Paswan, the move would ensure that the consumers don’t get cheated into buying inferior quality ornaments.
A notification in this regard would be issued by the government on January 15, 2020 making it mandatory for the jewellers to mark gold.
”The government will issue a notification on January 15, 2020 to make hallmarking mandatory for gold jewellery and it will come into force one year later, that is from January 15, 2021,” Ram Vilas Paswan, Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, said.
The government has taken this step since only 26,019 out of nearly 6 lakh jewellers have registered themselves with BIS for gold hallmarking. Sayd P.R. Somasundaram, Indian MD, World Gold Council, “The move will bring trust back into gold industry, benefitting consumers and trade alike.”
The government plans to implement gold hallmarking across the country in four phases, starting with the metro cities.
As per the plan, the government will open close to 887 hallmarking centres in 234 districts across the country to help more jewellers register themselves for the BIS hallmarking licence.
The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) Act, 2016 requires the jewellers 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, a bar of 18-karat gold is 18/24 parts gold.
The central government’s decision comes days ahead of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) December 8 deadline for India to comply with the gold benchmark and issue a quality control order.
The Centre also plans to notify the new regulation in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) since India is a signatory to the world trade body. Failure to comply could result in restrictions on Indian gold products by other WTO signatory countries.