‘Govt should allow public to utilise services of Hallmark centres’
   Date :11-Jun-2019

Business Bureau:
HIGHLIGHTING the need to boost the demand of gold jewellery industry, jewellers in the city demanded that the Government should take various measures like allowing general public to utilise the services of Hallmark centres to check purity of gold they have bought. Currently only jewellers are allowed to utilise services of Hallmark centres. There are many jewellers that sell gold and provide Hallmark certificates. To certify the purity of gold, jewellers have to pay a certain amount as fee at any of Hallmark centres. If Government permits general public to utilise the services of Hallmark centres it will certainly bring in more transparency in the gold trade.
A persons confidence level and faith in the gold trade will also increase. At least, there would be a mechanism in place where the customer will no longer feel cheated as he can verifty and check the quality of gold at Hallmark centre. Accordingly, the buyer will be empowered to verify the purity of gold he has bought from the open market. For example, if a customer has purchased gold jewellery from any jewellery shop. He will be able to cross verify the purity of gold by utilising the services of Hallmark centres located anywhere in the country. In case there is any difference in the purity of gold, both the customer and jeweller should be allowed to approach the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) to resolve the matter. BIS should be entrusted with the responsibility to check quality of gold.
This step will go a long way to ensure customers gets value for their money. Many jewellers felt that this measure will lower the instances of cheating. Kishore Dharashivkar, President of Sona Chandi Oli Committee, Itwari said that the Government should provide adequate infrastructure like labs if it wants to make Hallmarking compulsory in the country.
Hallmark infrastructure is costly and the Government should ensure that it is available in urban and rural places if it wants to make Hallmarking a success. Dharashivkar also said that the Indian people have the largest gold holdings in the world. It is roughly estimated that the people have about 40,000 tonnes of gold in their possession. Government can utilise the gold holdings by introducing Gold Bank. In this scheme, people would be allowed to deposit their gold holdings without any purchase bills and earn a certain amount as interest. He further demanded that the Government should reduce the Import Duty on gold from 10 per cent to 4 per cent.
“This will lower smuggling of gold in the country to a great extent,” he said. If Import Duty is reduced smuggling of gold will become unviable. More gold will be imported through legal channel. In this way, Government will be able to collect more revenue,” he said. He demand that the Government should take a deeper look into section 411, 412 and 413 of the Indian Penal Code. This section is being misused by the authorities in harassing and extortion from the jewellers. He suggested that the Government should set up a committee comprising of trade representatives, advocates, police officials and experts to closely examine the above sections in the interest of jewellers.