THE GOVERNMENT will make hallmarking of gold jewellery and silver mandatory from January 1, 2008. A P Chandra Rao, the Bhopal head the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), informed this while addressing a press conference here on Saturday. He said that necessary infrastructure was being put in place for the same.
The move, Rao said, will benefit the consumers as it has been observed that many consumers get cheated and end up buying sub-standard gold or silver.
BIS Bhopal has granted 59 hallmarking licences for gold jewellery and silver so far in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Rao said that the consumers should verify the hallmark number at the time of purchase. For instance, hallmarked gold bearing number 916 indicates a purity of 22 carat.
The Bhopal branch of the BIS caters to the needs of the industries and consumers in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. So far, the Bhopal branch office has granted 759 licences for different products (530 in Madhya Pradesh, 229 in Chhattisgarh). The BIS carries out periodic inspections at the licensees’ premises, during which samples are drawn for independent testing.
In addition, market samples are also drawn without the notice of the licensees and are tested for their conformity to the relevant Indian Standard Specification in independent laboratories.
Talking about misuse of ISI mark, he said the BIS officials conduct raids on premises whenever authentic information is received about the misuse.
As on date, there are 26 prosecution cases pending in different courts in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. With effect from August 15 the BIS has simplified the procedure for granting licence to reduce the time taken in processing the application.