BIS Amendment for Gold Hallmark Sought

Mumbai: The gold jewellery industry has urged the government to immediately pass amendment to BIS Act 1985 to follow proper hallmarking standard across the country, reports Indian Express.

Indian Association of Hallmarking Centres, which represents 350 hallmarking centres across India, estimates that only 40% of jewellery is hallmarked in the country.

“We urge the government to pass the Amendment to BIS Act 1985, which is pending in Parliament, immediately so that proper hallmarking standard is followed across the country,” Cochin Hallmark Co Managing Director James Jose told reporters here on Sunday.

Understanding the significance of hallmarking, the Reserve Bank of India had allowed gold loan companies to avail loan of the full value of hallmarked jewellery to borrowers, Jose said.

The government has identified Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) as the sole agency in the country to operate this scheme. Hallmarking is the accurate determination and official recording of the proportionate content of precious metal in gold. Hallmarks are thus official marks used in many countries as a guarantee of purity or fineness of gold jewellery.

The World Gold Council (WGC) on July 30 came out with a study which estimates around 30 per cent of jewellery in India is currently hallmarked, since the hallmarking standard was introduced by BIS in 2000. WGC study found that there are widespread differences in purity and an average under-caratage of anywhere from 10 per cent to 15 per cent.

“Based on figures obtained from BIS, over 500 tonne of gold jewellery were hallmarked in 2014-15. For this, hallmarking centres paid royalty to the BIS at the rate of 10 % of hallmarking charges. We have paid `6-7 crore, royalty to BIS,” Indian Association of Hallmarking Centres president Harshad Ajmera said.