Gold hallmarking being made mandatory from June 1, JK jewellers seek more time

08-05-2021

By Vishal Bharti

Jammu, May 8 (UNI) While the Centre is all set to make Gold hallmarking mandatory from June 1, 2021, jewellers in Jammu and Kashmir have appealed for some more time asserting that time is not ripe for it besides opening of hallmark centres at least in every district across the Union Territory.

Presently, Jammu and Kashmir is having only three hallmark centres and that too only in the Jammu City.

However, from June 1, 2021, jewellers can sell gold ornaments only in three variants —14, 18 and 22 carats, an official said.

He added that mandatory hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts will kick in from June 1, 2021, and added, “the Centre in November 2019 announced that hallmarking of gold jewellery would be mandatory from January 15, 2021 but the deadline was extended to June 1 after jewellers requested more time amid the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Terming it a welcome step in the benefit of the customers as well as the sellers, President Sarafa (Jewellers) Association, Jammu Province, Raman Suri told UNI, “gold hallmarking is a good step but it should not be imposed from June 1, 2021 in view of COVID pandemic vis-a-vis the clauses framed, which needs modification.”

“Jammu and Kashmir have 20 districts but only Jammu City have three Hallmark Centres and rest 19 districts do not have even a single centre,” said Mr Suri, adding that it will be almost impossible for people to visit to Jammu city every time for gold hallmarking.

“The first and utmost requirement is the infrastructure before setting this exercise into motion from June 1, 2021,” he asserted.

Mr Suri said that undoubtedly, it is in favour of the customers and sellers and added, “maximum jewellers are in Jammu city are having license of hallmarking but in other districts, it could not happen due to absence of centres.”

Meanwhile another jeweller said that the move is positive, but hasty due to which the business may suffer.

“Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS) should open more centres to speed up the hallmarking work,” he added and said that according to figures, there are 65 percent jewellers in over 1050 districts in India for which there is no hallmarking facility and they have to go to far-flung cities for hallmarking, which affects their business.

However, reliable sources in the administration told UNI that a Karat Meter machine worth lakhs was reportedly purchased during the erstwhile PDP-BJP popular government in 2017 by the Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution (now Food and Supply) so that the customers purchasing gold, can avail the facility of finding variant of gold but the fate of the machine at present is allegedly not known.

As per clauses framed by the Centre, Gold hallmarking is a purity certification of the precious metal and is voluntary at present, mandatory hallmarking means that jewellers will now be able to sell only hallmark certified 14, 18 and 22 carat gold jewellery.

Hallmark has the components including the BIS Mark, purity in carats and fineness, assaying/hallmarking centre’s identification mark/number and jeweller’s identification mark/number, bullion gold such as bars and coins are excluded from mandatory hallmarking. Jewellery weighing less than two grams is also excluded.

Hallmarking has been made mandatory is to ensure that consumers are not cheated and get the purity as marked on the ornaments, the government.

BIS (Hallmarking) Regulations, 2018 were notified w.e.f. 14.06.2018. The hallmarking scheme was implemented since April 2000.

So far, 35,500 jewellers have registered with the Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS).