The Consumer Affairs Ministry will on February 28 hold a meeting with stakeholders to discuss making hallmarking of gold jewellery mandatory, following up on an order it issued in June 2018.
Consumer affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan will chair the meeting to discuss the order the government wants to notify before Lok Sabha elections are announced, said sources.
The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) had a few months back warned jewellers not use its logo without registration, prodding them to adapt to mandatory hallmarking. In Mumbai, jewellers sell only hallmarked jewellery.
The draft notification circulated by the ministry and BIS for discussion proposed that gold jewellery and articles for exports where foreign buyers usually prescribe their standards and articles for domestic market weighing less than 2 gram will be exempted from the mandatory provision.
“We expect that the government will give time to sell and melt old jewellery of different caratage which will not be permissible under the mandatory regime. We also understand that hallmarking will be made compulsory in a phased manner from big cities to small towns and villages,” said Surendra Mehta, national secretary, Indian Bullion and Jewellers Association.
Mehta has also suggested that the government revisit the industry's demand for making hallmarking mandatory for 20k, 23k and 24k and ensure in-house certifications by the hallmarking agency instead of self-certification by big jewellers.
The government, so far, has not a date or procedure for hallmarking. There is also no clarity on whether hallmarking will be made mandatory in phases or nationwide rollout.
At present, there are 750 approved hallmarking centers in the country and 100 are in the pipeline.