Govt clears proposal making hallmarking of gold compulsory

PTI New Delhi | Updated on January 05, 2012 Published on January 04, 2012

The BIS (Amendment) Bill will empower the government to bring in compulsory certification regime.   -  Business Line

To protect consumers from unscrupulous jewellers, the Government today approved a proposal making hallmarking of gold mandatory.

The hallmarking of gold, which is voluntary in nature at present, is a purity certification of the precious metal. The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), under the Consumer Affairs Ministry, is the administrative authority of hallmarking.

The Cabinet, headed by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, cleared the proposal by approving amendments to the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) Act, 1986, that aims to expand the ambit of mandatory hallmarking to include more products, including gold, sources said.

The BIS (Amendment) Bill will empower the government to bring in compulsory certification regime for any article and/or process that it considers necessary from the point of view of health, safety, environment and prevention of deceptive practice, they said.

At present, about 77 items, including cement, mineral water and milk products, are certified through mandatory hallmarking under the BIS Act for conformity with expected quality levels.

The BIS hallmark, a mark of conformity widely accepted by the consumer, bestows additional confidence to the consumer on the quality of products like gold jewellery.

Besides mandatory hallmarking, the amendments moved by the Consumer Affairs Ministry also seek to introduce registration of relevant standards as an alternative mechanism to the compulsory certification regime to facilitate growth of sunrise sectors like IT and biotechnology and protect consumers from spurious and substandard imports.

It also aims to strengthen the penal provision for better and effective compliance with the provision of BIS Act.

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Published on January 04, 2012
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