Millennium Post

Gold jewellery hallmarking is must now, violators will be punished, says Paswan

New Delhi: In a move aimed at protecting the rights of consumers by ensuring quality of products, the government has decided to make hallmarking of gold jewellery sold in the country a must from Wednesday onwards. Announcing the decision, Minister for Consumer Affairs Ram Vilas Paswan said that jewellers would get one-year time to comply with the order.

Currently, there are 892 assaying and hallmarking labs in 234 districts of the country and more centres will be set up over the next one-year with the help of private entrepreneurs, Paswan said, adding that the ministry would issue a notification on making hallmarking mandatory on Wednesday.

Once the notification comes into force, only ornaments of 14 Carat, 18 Carat and 22 Carat would be allowed. It would be upon jewellers to get each and every gold artefact that they sell stamped at designated hallmarking centres.

Paswan further said that the decision to make hallmarking mandatory was taken keeping in mind the benefits to the consumers as well jewellers. Hallmarking protects the public against lower caratage and ensures that consumers do not get cheated while buying gold ornaments and get the purity as marked on the ornaments. So far, 28,849 jewellers have registered to implement the scheme.

Any gold manufacturer or jeweller fails to comply with the hallmarking standard will have to pay a minimum fine of Rs 1 lakh which can go up to five times the price of the article. Besides, there could be a jail term of one year. The punishment will be applicable to the assaying lab also.

According to a Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) official present at the meeting, subsequent to the scheme coming into force, each gold item sold in India will carry four distinct marks. Apart from BIS mark and hallmarking (both caratage and purity), it will have identification mark of assaying lab as well as that of jeweller.

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