The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution has given three months’ time to jewellers to dispose of their old jewellery stocks and artefacts with old hallmarking made before July 2021.

Gazette notification

In a gazette notification issued on March 31, it said the time will be given to jewellers who declare their old stocks of jewellery or gold artefacts with the old hallmarking that existed before July 1, 2021. “The jewellers shall be permitted to sell or display or offer to sell such declared stock of old gold jewellery or gold artefacts up to the June 30, 2023,” the notification said.

The gazette notification is in line with the undertaking the Centre gave to the Kerala High Court on Friday in response to a petition filed by the the All Kerala Gold and Silver Merchant Association. It said jewellers with the old four-digit hallmarking will get three months time for hallmarking six-digit alphanumeric hallmarking unique identification number (HUID).

The order issued in public interest, will come into effect immediately, it said.

However, jewellers believe that the hallmarking has been made mandatory for all practical purposes as it will be very difficult to prove that the gold jewellery was made before July 2021.

“The entire government officials’ harassment will start from here. Once they find jewellery without a HUID, they will seek all the accounts details of the jewellery to find out when the jewellery was made. This will lead to all kinds of dispute,” alleged a jeweller.