Raipur, Mar 22: The government is planning to make hallmarking along with carat count mandatory for the gold jewellery sold. Currently there are some jewellers who follow hallmarking voluntarily. If it is to be made mandatory, the government needs to increase the number of officially recognised assaying centres. At present there are 4 such centres in Chhattisgarh, 3 in Raipur and 1 in Durg for 5500 bullion traders in the state which means there is only 1 hallmark assaying centre behind 1350 bullion traders here, said Harakh Malu, former President, Raipur Sarafa Association while speaking to this newspaper. He said that Government should open atleast one hallmark assaying centre in every district to provide relief to the traders. Bullion Traders residing in Jagdalpur, Korba and other remote areas faces problem for hallmarking.
Malu said that construction cost of setting up a Hallmarking centre is about Rs 1 crore as result there are less number of private hallmarking assaying centres and more ever government officials sometime do not approve the hallmarking done from private centres. In such scenario it is necessary that government should set up its own hallmarking centres to provide relief to bullion traders At present the Hallmarking is done for gold jewellery in three categories — 14 carat, 18 carat and 22 carat but for common people 83.33 per cent (20 carat) jewellery is brought into use which should also be included in the category, demanded Malu. He said that we have submitted a memo to chief minister Dr Raman Singh in this concern but no action was taken till date. Hallmark is a purity certification of gold articles in accordance with standards prescribed by the bureau of Indian standards (BIS). The gold ornament is tested at an assaying and hallmarking centre before being certified for purity.
A hallmark consists of five components – BIS mark, fineness number (cartage), assaying and hallmarking centre’s mark, jeweller’s identification mark and year of marking by a code letter. Once hallmarking is made mandatory, imprisonment up to two years or a fine up to ten times of the value of goods sold, or both, are provided as penalty for non-compliance.