In the wake of the coronavirus ( COVID-19 ) pandemic, the government has extended an earlier deadline for mandatory hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts by four months, Consumer Affairs Minister Ramvilas Paswan said on Monday.
Last November, the Consumer Affairs Ministry set the deadline for January 15 2021. Till now, gold hallmarking, which is a purity certification of the precious metal, was voluntary in nature. The government had given jewellers more than a year to shift to hallmarking and register themselves with the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).
“Jewellers had made a request to extend the time. We have extended the deadline from January 15 to June 1, 2021, in view of the disruption in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis”, Mr. Paswan said at a virtual press conference. From June 1 next, jewellers will be allowed to sell only 14, 18 and 22 carats of gold jewellery, he said.
Hallmarking of gold jewellery was introduced in April 2000 and though voluntary, nearly 40% of the gold jewellery sold is currently hallmarked. So far, 28,849 jewellers have been registered by BIS.
The mandatory hallmarking, the BIS believes, will protect the public against lower caratage and ensure consumers do not get cheated while buying gold ornaments and get the purity as marked on the ornaments.