The Union ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution has announced mandatory hallmarking on gold jewellery and other related items from Wednesday, June 16, 2021.
Cabinet Minister Piyush Goyal in a Tweet informed that the guidelines will be initially implemented in 256 districts as part of a phase-wise plan and that no penalty will be imposed till August 2021.
Continuing our Govt’s endeavour for better protection & satisfaction of customers, mandatory hallmarking in 256 districts will be implemented from 16 June 2021. No penalty will be imposed till August 2021.— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) June 15, 2021
This will help develop India as a leading global gold market center. pic.twitter.com/0Pv2UgPdCM
“This will help develop India as a leading global gold market center,” further read his Tweet.
Details of the new guidelines
According to a government press release, jewellers with an annual turnover of up to ₹40 lakh will be exempted from the mandatory hallmarking rule.
- Hallmarking will be initially be starting from 256 districts of the country which have Assaying marking centres. Jewellers with annual turnover up to ₹40 lakh will be exempted from mandatory hallmarking.
- Export and re-import of jewellry as per Trade Policy of Government of India – Jewellery for international exhibitions, jewellry for government-approved B2B domestic exhibitions will be exempted from mandatory hallmarking.
- Further, gold of additional carats 20, 23 and 24 will also be allowed for hallmarking.
- Watches, fountain pens and special types of jewellry– including Kundan, Polki and Jadau– will be exempted from hallmarking.
What will happen to old jewelry?
The government in its release clarified that the jewellers can continue to buy back old gold jewellry without a hallmark from the consumer.
“Old jewellery can be got hallmarked as it is, if feasible by the jeweller or after melting and making new jewellery,” the release added.
Committee to resolve issues
The ministry has assured that a committee constituting representatives of all stakeholders, revenue officials and legal experts will be formed to resolve the issues that may possibly emerge during the implementation of this scheme.
Why the need for hallmark?
As per the government information, mandatory hallmarking will protect the public against lower caratage and ensure consumers are not cheated while buying gold ornaments.
Additionally, the hallmarking will enhance the credibility of gold jewellery and customer satisfaction through third-party assurance for the marked purity/fineness of gold, and consumer protection.
As per the release, around 40 per cent of gold jewellery is being hallmarked currently.
The BIS has been running a hallmarking scheme for gold jewellery since April 2000 and there has been an increase of 25 per cent increase in assaying and hallmarking centres in the last five years.
Presently, 940 assaying and hallmarking centres are operative out of which 84 centres have been set up under the government subsidy scheme in various districts.
About 14 crore articles can be hallmarked in a year with the existing capacity of these centres, the release informed.
India currently has around 4 lakh jewellers, out of which only 35,879 have been BIS certified. According to the World Gold Council, India imports 700-800 tonne of gold annually.