At present, about 77 items including cement, mineral water and milk products are certified with mandatory hallmarking under the BIS Act to conform to the quality level of goods and services to consumers.
According to sources, the Union cabinet cleared the bill, which seeks to empower the government to make hallmarking -- certification of a product or process -- mandatory on the grounds of public interest.
Section 14 of the BIS Act provides the Consumer Affairs Ministry the power to make those industrial products and processes for compulsory hallmarking that are listed under the Industries Development and Regulation Act (IDRA), 1951.
"Earlier, even if the Centre wanted to make mandatory hallmarking of gold, it could not do under the present law as the yellow metal does not fall under the IDRA list. Even the profession of goldsmiths who process gold into jewellery is not on that list," sources said.
The Cabinet cleared the bill after considering the views of the Law Ministry which suggested delinking the Act from the provisions of the Industries Development and Regulation Act (IDRA), 1951, sources added.
Currently, the BIS hallmarking scheme for gold jewellery is voluntary in nature.