06:29 GMT21 September 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): India imports about 700-800 tonne of gold annually. In 2018, the country’s demand for the precious metal stood at 760.4 tonnes, according to the World Gold Council.

    The Indian government will make the hallmarking of gold jewellery compulsory from 15 January with jewellers allowed one year to implement the order, said Indian Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Tuesday.

    Apart from the necessary directions to jewellers across the country, the notification will also contain penal provisions for violating hallmark rules.

    “Violators will have to pay fine of up to Rs one lakh ($1,400) or face imprisonment of up to one year,” the minister said, adding, “Ornaments of 14, 18 and 22 carat purity will be allowed. Also, Jewellers may be required to get approval for each gold artefact".

    The government has decided to make hallmarking mandatory as it will bring benefits to consumers who won't be so easily duped with counterfeit products.

    Once the hallmarking comes into force, each item sold in India will have to carry marks apart from Bureau of Indian Standards mark as well as hallmarking. They will also need to have an identification mark from the assaying lab as well as that of the jeweller. There are 892 hallmark labs across the country.

    Almost 30,000 jewellers have already registered to become a part of the scheme. 

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