By Shafali Nigam
New Delhi [India], August 25 (ANI): Following the Centre's mandate to hallmark gold jewellery, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is considering opening more hallmarking centres across the country to meet the increased demand, said BIS Director-General Pramod Kumar Tiwari on Wednesday.
Speaking to ANI, Tiwari informed BIS has received more than 90 applications to open new hallmarking centres across the country.
"As you have seen that whole process have become online. Once jewellery comes to a centre sampling, XRF reading, fire assaying, and hallmarking are now registered on the portal and whatever jewellery comes, everything is kept in the account and on every jewellery a unique HUID (hallmark unique identification number) is being given," he said.
Addressing the worry of people who bought jewellery before the issuance of new guidelines, the BIS DG said, "'For people who have jewellery where HUID hallmarking is not there, those customers don't need to be worried because we have instructed that that jewellery that has been hallmarked as per government guidelines before July 1st, 2021 will also be recognised."
"As you know the hallmarking has been mandatory in just 256 districts, the government plans that it should be implemented in the whole country. So the problem which is coming is that the districts which are not covered, there are no hallmarking centres. So, for that, we have sent proposals to the government that we can consider a subsidy scheme. The existing hallmarking centres which we have, we can give them permission to open off-site hallmarking centres so that the network of hallmarking centres become big," he stated.
Tiwari informed that under the proposal of subsidy "if a person wants to open a new hallmarking centre in an uncovered district then BIS will bear the 60 per cent to 70 per cent cost of plant and equipment in a form of subsidy after being established as a centre".
"The HUID is a very transparent process that every jewellery will have its distinct identity. If any consumer will have a problem related to any item of jewellery then the whole process can be investigated. I think the more jewellery is implementing the arrangement and understanding it, then their problems are also decreasing," he stated.
He further said that now customers can approach BIS if they have doubts about the purity of the jewellery. "Earlier, it was a time taking process by going to the centre. Now as every record will be available online, then we can resolve their problem in five mins," he said.
Tiwari further informed that BIS is also working on a proposal to allow customers to hallmark their old jewellery, and added that instructing regarding the same will be issued soon.
When asked about how BIS is going to create awareness among people regarding HUID, Tiwari said, "One thing which is needed to understand is that this is a work in progress. This has been implemented on a very large scale. Slowly, if we see anything which is lacking, we will resolve it. The government has decided to make an advisory committee on it permanently which will give suggestions to BIS as to how to make the whole arrangement better."
Naresh Thakur, Director of RC Hallmarking centre said, hallmarking is a great step of BIS which will help customers to know if they are buying the right jewellery.
"We are trying to help in solving the purpose of BIS. There were many loopholes in the earlier hallmarking process. There was no track earlier, but with HUID which has been launched BIS, now everything will come through a portal. We will work on the request of the jeweller and all the details will be shared with BIS. BIS will have all the records of the jewellery we have in our centre," said Thakur.
Explaining the process of verification at hallmarking Centres, Thakur said, 'first, we get the jewellery and request if the jewellery has the licence or not. Then, we XRF it, according to the guidelines which have been given to us. After XRF if the jewellery is right as in the content of metals is appropriate we send it for scrapping and then extract 200-300mili gram metal from it and we send it for fire assaying. It is again verified in the lab to check if the metal is right as to the purity which we have marked. After that, it comes for laser marking and then the code is generated. If it is not 14 carats or 18 carats, then we return it." (ANI)