Jewellery industry demands clarity on hallmarking

Jewellery industry demands clarity on hallmarking

The jewellery industry is unlikely to comply with hallmarking of gold jewellery from January 2018, as the government is yet to issue proper guidelines.

Recently, Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan stated that  hallmark of gold  jewellery will become mandatory from January 2018, which will result in delivery of quality gold to consumers.  

"So far, we have not received any information from the government or the ministry concerned. While it is said that hallmarking will be done for jewellery in 14 carat, 18 carat and 22 carat categories, what will happen to 20 carat, 23 and 24 carat that are widely used in our country," questioned Nitin Khandelwal, Chairman, All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF).

Hallmarking regulations are yet to be finalised by the government,  Neeraj Kumar Sharma, head of Hallmarking Department, said.

The industry has also raised questions about the existing non-hallmarked stock and the date of implementation.

Pawan had said that the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS)  mark is used on some jewellery but that does not sufficiently convey quality of jewellery to consumers.  

Though the industry welcomes the mandatory of hallmarking of gold, it also insists on the need to increase the number of hallmarking centres across the country.

At present, there are over 500 hallmarking centres in India. "Almost 70% of these centres are concentrated at the metros. There are over 5 lakh jewellers in our country, and only 35%-40% of them are  in urban areas. What will happen to other small jewellers who have to travel all the way to these centres in metros for hallmarking of gold jewellery," asked   Shaankar Sen, MD of Senco Gold & Diamonds, stressing on the need to increase the hallmarking centres in Tier-II and Tier-III cities.

Sen said at this point it is premature to make  hallmarking mandatory, and that the government has to first address these issues.

At present, not all jewellery are hallmarked and also not reported to the BIS.

Bhaskar Bhat, Managing Director of Titan Company, said that the raw material cost will go up and that hallmarking centres have to invest in equipment and training people. "The government is keen that all jewellery should be hallmarked," he added.

 

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