Mumbai: India is set to have a silver standard, with the launch of the World Silver Council (WSC) by the apex bullion dealers body India Bullion and Jewellers Association (IBJA), reports Business Standard.
Despite having millions of silver jewellery and artefacts manufacturers across the country, there has been no benchmark standard till now. This led to ambiguity in trade, as customers got only 40-50 per cent of the value when they sold silver.
“The launch of WSC would bring a major relief to silver consumers as it would set a purity standard soon, which would be followed by all members under it probably be an industry standard,” said a senior industry official.
WSC is the first of its kind body which would seek representations from producers, processors and manufacturers of silver bricks, coins, medallions and jewellery in its decision-making process.
The council was launched by Bihar Governor Ramnath Kovind here on Saturday. The major objective of the council would be to protect the interests of silver producers and its industrial and retail consumers.
“The primary objective of the council would be to set a benchmark similar to the standard set in gold like .999 (pure gold) and .995 (standard gold) and bring in transparency among its members to bring confidence in the system,” said Mohit Kamboj, president, IBJA.
The council would seek membership from all classes of participants in the value chain, including miners, refiners, produces, importers, jewellers, exporters and traders.
IBJA has also launched its Skill Development Council (SDC) and First Step Foundation (FSF). While SDC will promote protection of workers in the silver industry, the FSP would focus on the welfare of those associated with the industry.
India’s silver import is likely to hit the new record at around 9,500 tonnes in the calendar year 2015, a rise of 34 per cent from the previous year.
IBJA would be solely monitoring and controlling of WSC, said a senior official with IBJA. The Council will also seek membership from domestic and global silver players and it plans to seek ‘council’ status from the government. Currently, there is no such council for the silver sector in India.
IBJA also plans to expand its global footprints with its offices in Europe, Africa and the West Asia. The jewellers’ body had recently signed an agreement with the BSE to start a bullion exchange. The expansion of IBJA board and its membership drive will help in setting up the bullion exchange, Kamboj added.