Industry disputes WGC findings on hallmarking

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on January 23, 2018 Published on August 10, 2015

A saleswoman shows a gold earring to customers at a jewellery showroom in Mumbai, India, July 21, 2015. To match GOLD-INDIA/DEMAND REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade   -  REUTERS

More than 50% of jewellery hallmarked last fiscal, says industry body

The Indian Association of Hallmarking Centres has contested the World Gold Council findings that less than 30 per cent of gold jewellery sold in India is hall marked.

Hallmarking centres across the country certified quality of 2.6 crore pieces of gold jewellery last fiscal. Considering average weight of 18 gram per piece, the claim made by WGC holds no ground, said the association.

Addressing the media, Harshad Ajmera, President, Indian Association of Hallmarking Centres, said over 500 tonnes of gold jewellery were hallmarked last fiscal, accounting for more than 50 per cent of jewellery sold.

He supported his argument with royalty of ₹6-7 crore paid as royalty at the rate of 10 per cent to the Bureau of Indian Standards.

The association represents about 350 hallmarking centres which confirms the purity of over half the jewellery sold in India.

Last week unveiling a study conducted by the World Gold Council, Somasundaram PR, Managing Director, World Gold Council, said jewellery exports from India had the potential to touch $40 billion by 2020 from $8 billion if the country assures BIS quality.

In purity, he said the differences in caratage that is promised and delivered is about 10 to 15 per cent.

“There are also concerns about the quality and credibility of a few  hallmarking centres. This means the percentage of jewellery hallmarked is expected to be even lower than 30 per cent,” said Somasundaram.

The Bill to Amendment BIS Act 1985 for standardising hallmarking across the country is pending in Parliament.

James Jose, Managing Director, Cochin Hallmark Company, said recognising the significance of hallmarking, the RBI has allowed gold loan companies to avail themselves of loan for the full value of hallmarked jewellery to borrowers.

K Anand Kumar, Secretary,  Indian Association of Hallmarking Centres, said the number of hallmarking centres is skewed towards big cities and is inadequate to meet mandatory marking of all jewellery sold.

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Published on August 10, 2015
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