Kolkata: Citing the infrastructural and logistic challenges jewellers in small cities will face in the regime of mandatory hallmarking, the gems and jewellery industry on Saturday urged the Centre to set up more hallmarking centres in tier-2 and -3 cities.
A notification making the hallmarking process mandatory is expected from the government soon.
"The industry appreciates the intention of the government to protect the interest of the consumers," All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council's zonal Chairman Shankar Sen said on the sidelines of a event organised by Indian Chamber of Commerce.
"But we have requested the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs and Bureau of Indian standards to allow more hallmarking centres to come up in different parts of the country so that it does not become a challenge for the jewellers in the tier 2 and tier 3 cities."
According to him, there are around 500 hallmarking centres across the country at present and 70 per cent of these are located in metropolitan cities.
The Bureau of Indian Standards Act, notified on March 22, 2016, has been brought into effect from October 12, 2017.
The Act has enabling provisions for the government to bring any goods or article of any scheduled industry, process, system or service, which it considers necessary in the public interest or for the protection of human, animal or plant health, safety of the environment, or prevention of unfair trade practices, or national security, under the compulsory certification regime.
Enabling provisions have also been made for making hallmarking of the precious metal articles mandatory.
He said once the present optional hallmarking system makes way for a mandatory regime, it would require jewellers in small towns to travel to big cities along with their jewellery to get the hallmarking done.
Further, most of the assaying and hallmarking centres are currently privately owned and it requires an initial investment of around Rs 1 crore.