The third meeting of the expert committee formed by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to resolve the issues of mandatory jewellery hallmarking was held yesterday. Several issues were raised during the meeting and the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has assured to consider and come up with comprehensive guidelines and detailed responses to the expert committee queries in the next few days.
The key issues raised by the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council included:
· Deficiency of distribution of A&H Centres – only consideration of numbers of centres per state is not a sufficient mechanism due to concentration in certain areas.
· Allow further 6 to 9 months for registration of all jewellers and for an adequate number of A&H Centres to be set up.
· Allow sales of hallmarked jewellery without registration for small jewellers.
· HUID – maintaining accounts of single pieces due to HUID would be impossible, not feasible for smaller jewellers to comply.
· Re-melting and remaking of articles presently in stock that do not conform to IS 1417 (heavy cumulative losses to the industry apprehended on this count).
· Artisanal jewellery such as Kundan contains multiple purities (18K, 24K) in one piece alongside the usage of other metal. Traditional jewellery should not be discontinued due to the inability to conform to hallmarking law.
The GJEPC has also requested clarification on the storage of jewellery without hallmarking and jewellery send for exhibition.
Colin Shah, Chairman, GJEPC and a member of the expert committee said, “The Government has been very considerate about the issues and concerns of the jewellers with regards to mandatory jewellery hallmarking. We are hopeful that the Govt. would come up with pragmatic solutions before the implementation of mandatory hallmarking.”
K Srinivasan, Convener, Gold Panel, GJEPC, and a member of the expert committee commented, “It is important the industry has clarity and understating of all the concerns they have over the mandatory jewellery hallmarking so that there would not be any sort of hinderance and business can be carried out smoothly.”
The meeting was concluded by the officers of the BIS and the Department of Consumer Affairs by acknowledging the major issues including:
1. Requirement of further clarity on several issues including the treatment of heritage jewellery, definition of ‘manufacturer’, onus for shortage in purity, jewellery auctioned by banks, repairs/ changes to jewellery after hallmarking, etc.
2. Issues regarding A&H Centres need to be analysed and resolved.
3. Revising standards/grades of purity in IS 1417 to include further grades.
4. HUID-related issues raised have been noted and will be forwarded for consideration.
5. Accepting the possibility to open up A&H Centres with Centre’s/ BIS subsidies for up to 75 per cent-80 per cent of costs.
Every jewellery has a story. It is the essence of a moment. It captures your emotions. It is essentially an expression - of the maker, of the wearer, of the onlooker. Jewelpedia® narrates these untold stories from the glittering world of gems and jewellery.