Multiple news reports say that the central government will make hallmarking gold jewellery and artefacts compulsory as early as 1 January 2020.
A Deccan Chronicle report said that the Ministry of Consumer Affairs has notified the World Trade Organisation (WTO) its intention to make the sale of articles of gold compulsory through certified sale outlets and with hallmark.
The decision comes ahead of the WTO's deadline of 8 December for India to comply with the benchmark for gold and issue quality control order.
The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) Act, 2016, requires jewellers mark gold under three measurements, that is, 14 carats, 18 carats and 22 carats. Hallmarking is the accurate determination and official recording of the proportionate content of precious metal in bullion articles, making it an official mark of a guarantee of purity or fineness of the metal. It is recognised across the globe.
According to a report by The Print, the gold hallmarking will be implemented across the country in four phases, starting with metro cities.
The news has raised concerns over short-term disruption in sales for retailers who have already witnessed a slow down after an increase in customs duty and spike in gold rates. In the September-ended quarter, demand for jewellery in India was down by 32 percent at 101.6 tonnes, according to the World Gold Council.