Jewellers cold shoulder hallmarking centre move
THE IDEA of setting up ?Gold Hallmarking Centres? doesn?t seem to be very high in the priority list of UP jewellers. This is despite repeated reminders of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) to over 2 lakh UP jewellers that the Centre had already indicated making hallmarking mandatory for all gold jewellery items by 2008.india Updated: Aug 21, 2006 00:58 IST
THE IDEA of setting up ‘Gold Hallmarking Centres’ doesn’t seem to be very high in the priority list of UP jewellers. This is despite repeated reminders of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) to over 2 lakh UP jewellers that the Centre had already indicated making hallmarking mandatory for all gold jewellery items by 2008.
“If you don’t allow jewellery items to be sold from a Gold Hallmarking Centre there is no point investing a minimum of Rs 1 crore in setting up such a facility,” O P Agarwal, president of the UP Sarafa Federation told Hindustan Times.
He said few jewellers would invest only to start a testing facility for gold to be hallmarked in the State. “It’s not going to work. Just setting up a hallmarking centre without the permission to sell jewellery from there is unacceptable to us,” Agarwal said.
“It would have been better for the governments at the State level to abolish sales tax on jewellery items and impose a heavier sales tax on the bullion trade to keep gold prices affordable for small retailers and wholesalers,” he added.
Evidently, the BIS had already carried out a survey to gauge the jewellers’ response on the idea of setting up ‘Gold Hallmarking Centres’ across the country. The results of the survey are to be announced soon.
“The Centre had already simplified the procedure for getting the gold jewellery hallmarked by jewellers for a fee. The certification for gold hallmarking for jewellers at the district headquarters level is Rs 20,000, small towns traders Rs 10,000, while for those in metros it is Rs 25,000 for three years,” R K Sharma, director, BIS, Lucknow said.
He said a total of 47 jewellers in Uttar Pradesh currently own a license for using a hallmark on jewellery items. Of them 22 jewellers fall in the jurisdiction of the BIS Lucknow Office. To set up ‘Gold Hallmarking Centres’, the Centre had invited bids from jewellers across the country earlier this year. “It is known that there were certain big jewellers from UP who had submitted expression of interest (EoI) for setting up such centres here,” he said.
Sharma said the Centre had also announced to offer a one-time subsidy of Rs 15 lakh to jewellers deciding to set up such centres.
“There will be no option left for jewellers but to go for hallmarking of their products following strong indications that the practice will become mandatory by 2008,” Sharma added.