Government mulls making purity stamp mandatory for jewellery shops
The government is planning to make purity stamp i.e. hallmarking, a must for the jewellery shops across the country, says a report. Union Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said that once it becomes mandatory, jewellers will be made accountable and jewellery shops will have to sell hallmarked, certified gold jewellery. The report further states that the main purpose of hallmarking is to protect consumers. There have been a number of instances where customers have reportedly been duped on the quality of gold jewellery. The minister further mentioned that in order to protect the consumers, an epoch-changing BIS Act, 2016, has been passed by Parliament having provisions for simpler self-certification mechanism, mandatory hallmarking, product recall and product liability for better consumer protection. Under the new Act, BIS can order recall of products not conforming to standards, in addition to cancellation of licence of the manufacturer. It can also order compensation to consumers in case goods and services do not conform to the standards. It also empowers BIS to cancel licences, order product recall if it does not conform to the set standards. Hallmarking of gold jewellery, which assures customers of the purity of gold, was introduced in 2000 whereby jewellers are required to get licences from the BIS and get goods hallmarked by one of 400 odd BIS-authorised centres. According to the standards authority, there are almost 13,000 licensed domestic jewellers. The sellers can be penalised through a fine or having their licenses revoked if they are found to be misusing the license.