In view of the coronavirus pandemic, the government has extended the deadline for mandatory hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts by over four months. The deadline has been extended to 1 June 2021 from the earlier deadline of 15 January 2021, a PTI report said Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan.
"Jewellers had made a request to extend the time. We have extended the deadline from 15 January to 1 June 2021, in view of the disruption in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis," Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said.
Gold hallmarking is a purity certification of the precious metal and is voluntary in nature at present. As per the new deadline, hallmarking gold jewellery and artefacts would be made mandatory across the country from 1 June 2021.
Also, jewellers will be allowed to sell only 14, 18 and 22 carats of gold jewellery. Any violation would attract penalty and imprisonment.
The additional time has been provided for jewellers to exhaust their existing stock and make necessary arrangements to comply with the new norms that will kick in the second half of the next year.
Amid the coronavirus crisis, the All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council (AGJDC) and the India Bullion and Jewellers Association had demanded the extension of the deadline.
"The retail sales of gold jewellery have been hit severely in the last two-and-a-half months and the season is lost. No one knows what will happen in the next six months. We will also recommend the government to extend the deadline," Indian Association of Hallmarking Centres president Uday Shinde had said earlier.