By Our Correspondent
NEW DELHI/BHUBANESWAR: In a written reply by the Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Danve Raosaheb Dadarao in Rajya Sabha has said that Central Government is taking all necessary action for making of Hallmarking of Gold mandatory including stakeholders consultation, notifying Draft Quality Control Order on World Trade Organization (WTO) Website on 10th October, 2019.
Scheduling notification in respect of Hallmarking of Gold Jewellery and Artefacts on 15 January, 2020 making Hallmarking of Gold Jewellery and Artefacts mandatory in the country w.e.f. 15th January, 2021; ensuring adequate Assaying and Hallmarking (A&H) capacity, sources said. As on 31st October, 2019, 877 A&H Centres throughout India have been recognized by Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), the Minister said.
But some big Jeweller makers and sellers in Odisha are worried a lot. Currently, hallmarking of gold is optional and can be voluntarily opted for by jewellers. If you are buying gold which is not hallmarked, the possibility of buying impure gold is high.
As per the government, Hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts will be made mandatory across the nation from January 15, 2020. Jewellers, however, will be given a period of one year from the date of the notification by the government, for the implementation of the scheme. This means, by January 2021, the registration process of jewellers will have to be completed and it will also give the jewellers a period of one -year to clear their existing stock.
Lalchand Jewellers, Kalyan Jewellers, Epari Sadashiv Jewellers , SENCO, Tanishq, Syndicate, Reliance Jewels, Khimji Jewellers, P. C. Chandra Jewellery and many big players in Odisha are worried a lot. As on 31st October 2019 there are 877 Assaying and hallmarking centres spread in 234 district locations across the country and so far 26,019 jewellers have taken BIS registration.
1. BIS Mark
2. Purity in carat and Fineness (any one)
a) 22K916 – Equal to 22 Carat
b) 18K750 – Equal to 18 Carat
c) 14K585 – Equal to 14 Carat
3. Identification Mark or Number of the Hallmarking Centre’s
4. Identification Mark or number of the Jeweller’s
Bureau of Indian standards (BIS) is authorised to carry out the hallmarking of gold jewellery and any jewellery can apply for license before getting their jewellery hallmarked from them. The BIS (Bureau of Indian standards) Act 2016 has enabling provisions under Section 14 & Section 16 for making hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts mandatory by the Central Government.
With the timeline fixed by the government for selling only hallmarked gold, it will be important for gold buyers to buy only hallmarked from today.
There will be a probability of jewellers in selling non-hallmarked gold at a bargain or discounted price in order to clear the existing stock. Buyers need to be aware that only hallmarked gold will fetch them the right market price for gold in future. This step is seen as a positive development in the direction of consumer protection in the country. ‘What you pay for is what you get’ will be the norm in the Indian gold market.
The continued raids by the Weigh& Measures officials of Odisha Civil Supplies and Consumer Welfare Department and Legal Meteorology officials have sent a shock wave among officials and owners of big players.
Sources said, 40 showrooms in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Sambalpur, Balasore and many other big cities of the State were under scanner. Big players like Kalyan Jewellers will face more tough times with officials hinting at a regular raids.
In the recently concluded Odisha State Assembly’s Winter Session, Civil Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Ranendra Pratap Swain had informed that raids were conducted on 11 jewellery shops in the State in 2018-19 for allegedly cheating customers. In 2017-18, the department had raided 31 shops and collected fines for cheating in weight and measures.
The Minister said six shops were raided in Balasore whereas the officials conducted searches at four and seven shops in Khurda and Cuttack respectively. The Minister Swain had also accepted that the jewellery shops across Odisha are cheating customers in weights and measures. Especially jewellers in Bhubaneswar Cuttack, Berhampur and Balasore are duping buyers the most.“Assembly Speaker Surjya Narayan Patro directed the government to conduct raids on jewellery shops in Bhubaneswar . As a result of which, raids are going on,” said sources.
Recently, Legal Metrology officials had conducted raids at Kalyan Jewellers in Kurnool and Nellore in Andhra Pradesh.Raids were conducted following several complaints registered against the quantity and quality of gold in these showrooms.