12-fold rise expected in gold hallmarking licenses

Mumbai : The bullion market in India is likely to witness a nearly 12-fold rise in gold hallmarking licenses as government has revised the eligibility norms and validity terms, a step that will further its efforts to implement a regime of mandatory purity certification.

The Bureau of Indian Standards, the licensing authority, revised the norms by shifting to a turnover-based license fee for gold hallmarking, and raising the validity of the license to five years. Earlier, the license fee for gold hallmarking was based on the population of the town the jeweller was located at, and the license was valid for three years.

According to the new regulations, jewellers with an annual turnover of less than Rs 50 million will have to pay a fee of Rs 7,500 for the license. Jewellers with annual turnover of Rs 50-250 million will have to pay Rs 15,000, those with the turnover of Rs 250-Rs 1 billion will be required to pay Rs 40,000, and those with over Rs 1 billion turnover will have to pay Rs 80,000.

Earlier, the fees were at Rs 2,500 for jewellers in small towns with a population of less than 3, 00,000 and Rs 5,000 for those in towns having a population of 3,00,000-1 million.

“Currently only 25,000 jewellers have licenses but with the new notification, the number can rise to 3, 00,000. This will be a major help for small scale jewellers, especially those in big cities,” said James Jose, joint secretary of Indian Association of Hallmarking Centres.

In November, the government had announced that it may make gold hallmarking compulsory from 2018. However, no roadmap for the same has been announced yet.

Jewellers expect the government to implement mandatory hallmarking in phases. Jewellers had hallmarked more than 500 tonnes of jewellery in

2017, said Harshad Ajmera, president of the Indian Association of Hallmarking Centres.

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