A notification in this regard will be issued on January 15 next year and the decision will come into effect after a year, making it compulsory for all the jewellers to register with the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and sell only hallmarked gold jewellery and artefacts, the minister said.
Somasundaram said this is an excellent step in the right direction, a long-overdue policy action.
Mandatory hallmarking will lead to more jobs in assaying and purity verification which in turn will support the gold monetisation scheme, he said.
"The period of one year to transition takes into account business realities and is very supportive of trade. We welcome it and do hope the trade sees this in a positive light," he added.
Gold hallmarking is a purity certification of the precious metal and is voluntary in nature at present. The BIS is already running a hallmarking scheme for gold jewellery since April 2000 and around 40 per cent of gold jewellery is being hallmarked currently.
Kalyan Jewellers chairman and managing director T S Kalyanaraman said with the rule coming into effect, hallmarking of jewellery will become mandatory in India from January 2021, and this move will propel the growth of the organised jewellery sector.
"Currently, BIS certification centres are only present in bigger cities and towns. It will be a challenge to effectively manage this aspect, so that retailers in smaller towns can also make the shift to hallmarked jewellery," he added.
All India Gem And Jewellery Domestic Council vice chairman Shankar Sen opined that even though hallmarking was not mandatory, most jewellery manufactured in India are usually hallmarked going with the consumers demand.
Hallmarking of gold jewellery was introduced in the Lok Sabha in 2016, but mandatory implementation across the country was not practical at that time, he pointed out.
"This move will not only create transparency and acceptance for consumers. This will also create global appeal for Indian jewellery," he added.
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