The Indian government is reportedly considering amending the norms to include 20- and 24-karat gold before officially rolling out the much-heralded rules making the hallmarking of jewellery compulsory in the country. The existing rules, notified by the government in June 2018 but still awaiting execution, allow for the hallmarking of 14-, 18- and 22-karat gold jewellery.
At a meeting of all industry stakeholders that was called by Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan in New Delhi on Thursday, industry stakeholders made a strong case to include 20- and 24-karat gold, saying there was clear consumer demand for the categories.
Indian consumers have a wide range of preferences as to the karatage of gold they want in jewellery, with very high purities being in greater demand for the bridal market.
While some observers say mandatory hallmarking may be implemented by the end of the year, others point to the upcoming general elections and caution that they could impact the timing of the rollout. Also, given that finished jewellery is both imported and exported, World Trade Organisation (WTO) approval for the plans is also required. Sources said WTO approval might be forthcoming by April this year.