New Delhi: In view of the coronavirus pandemic, the government has extended deadline for mandatory hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts by over four months. The deadline has been extended to June 1, 2021, as compared to the earlier deadline of January 15, 2021, Press Trust of India reported, citing Consumer Affairs Minister Mr. Ram Vilas Paswan.
“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.
Gold hallmarking is a purity certification of the precious metal and is voluntary in nature at present. After June 1, 2021, gold jewellery and artefacts would be made mandatory across the country.
Accordingly, from June 1 next year, jewellers will be allowed to sell only 14, 18 and 22 carats of gold jewellery. Any violation would attract penalty and imprisonment.
The government, in November last year, had announced that hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts would be made mandatory across the country from January 15, 2021.
But amid the coronavirus crisis, the All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council (AGJDC) and the India Bullion and Jewellers Association had demanded the extension of the deadline.
According to jewellers, another six months would not be enough to exhaust their existing stocks.
Mr. Somasundaram PR, Managing Director, India, World Gold Council (WGC) on the hallmarking extension said, “The extension of time by six months for mandatory hallmarking reflects a pragmatic approach by the government to support the industry in the current environment while keeping the path of reform intact. Soon after the announcement early this year making hallmarking mandatory and giving a transition time of one year for manufacturers and jewellers to adapt to new logistics and dispose off non-hallmarked inventories, Covid struck causing unprecedented business disruption. Demand has slumped and therefore, the transition time has to be stretched to enable industry to embrace this change. However, many organised players have been selling hallmarked jewellery for years and so they may see accelerated growth in their market share – as customers will be looking for trust underpinned by hallmarking when prices are at life time high. The industry needs to invest in collaborative efforts to ensure effective enforcement of this critical reform and successful transition within the extended period.”