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Indian Government takes steps to overhaul gold jewellery standards

26 august 2021
India is the world’s second-largest gold consumer market after China, but much of the trade is opaque and consumers often can’t verify what they are being sold in terms of purity. To formalise the gold business, hallmarking by jewellers is now mandatory in 256 districts of the country, as per media reports.
India’s attempt to overhaul its gold-jewellery standards is to acquire the status of a global business hub. According to the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), the country’s quality regulator, the country had achieved a target of providing hallmarked unique identifiers for 10 million gold sets within a short period.
The unique ID enables consumers to independently verify the genuineness and quality of gold jewellery, which improves consumer transparency while buying a commodity that is hard to judge. This is expected to help revive demand for gold that slumped to record lows in the country since the 2020 pandemic with total purchases reducing 30% in 2020 from the 690 tonnes bought in 2019.
BIS’s director-general Pramod Kumar said: “The hallmarking scheme is turning out to be a grand success with more than 1 crore pieces of Jewellery hallmarked in a quick time and over 90,000 jewellers registered for the system. 
The gems and jewellery sector contributes nearly 7% to India’s gross domestic product and employs nearly 4 million people, according to data from the Confederation of Indian Industry.
Official data show the number of registered jewellers for hallmarking of gold as per standards laid down by BIS rose to 91,603. Jewellery pieces received for hallmarking and hallmarked from July 1 to August 20 rose to a record 10 million during this period.
According to BIS, it was not into the business of tracking the business-to-business movement of jewellery and neither were jewellers required to upload details of sales. 
The government of India is constantly reviewing the functioning of hallmarking centres.

Aruna Gaitonde, Editor in Chief of the Asian Bureau, Rough&Polished