The rollout of mandatory hallmarking of gold jewellery in 256 districts has been smooth so far and the process of expanding it to all districts of the country is now underway, according to the Consumer Affairs Ministry.
Hallmarking, a quality certification, has been made mandatory with effect from June 23, 2021 for 14, 18, and 22 carat gold jewellery and artifacts in 256 districts of the country, where there is at least one Assaying and Hallmarking Centre (AHC).
“Overall, the rollout of mandatory hallmarking has been smooth, and the process for expanding it to all districts of the country is now underway,” the ministry said in its monthly report prepared for the cabinet.
With facilitative measures taken by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) such as online registration, zero registration fee for jewellers, life-time validity of registration etc, the number of jewellers registered with the BIS have almost quadrupled since the launch of mandatory hallmarking.
As on date, 1.27 lakh jewellers have taken registration from BIS for selling hallmarked jewellery and 976 BIS recognized AHCs are operative in the country, the report said. After the launch of automation software, in a period of five months, almost 4.5 crore jewellery pieces have been hallmarked in the country, it added. Further, the Ministry said a Hallmarking Unique ID (HUID)-based system has been introduced to ensure greater transparency in the functioning of the gold jewellery industry and for providing credibility of hallmark to consumers.
In November 2019, the government had announced that hallmarking of gold jewellery and artifacts would be made mandatory across the country from January 15, 2021. But the deadline was extended by four months till June 1, and later till June 23, after the jewellers sought more time in view of the pandemic. India is the largest importer of gold, which mainly caters to the demand of the jewellery industry. In volume terms, the country imports 700-800 tonne of gold annually.