The government on Friday said the third phase of mandatory hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts has come into force in 55 new districts in 16 states and one Union territory.
Gold hallmarking is a purity certification of the precious metal and was voluntary in nature till June 16, 2021, when the government decided to implement mandatory gold hallmarking in a phased manner.
Currently, a total of 343 districts are covered under mandatory hallmarking. In the first phase, launched on June 23, 2021, 256 districts were covered, while the second phase from April 4, 2022, included 32 more districts.
According to the Consumer Affairs Ministry, an order for implementation of the third phase of the mandatory hallmarking of gold jewellery and gold artefacts was notified on September 8.
The third phase of the mandatory hallmarking will cover an additional 55 new districts in 16 states and one Union territory, it said in a statement.
Eight districts, including East Champaran, will be covered in Bihar, five districts each in Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Maharashtra, and four districts in Telangana under the third phase.
Three districts each will be covered in Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, while two districts each in Assam, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal.
In Rajasthan, the mandatory gold hallmarking will be implemented in one district -- Jalore -- during the third phase.
Nodal agency Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has successfully implemented mandatory hallmarking in the last two phases, wherein more than 4 lakh gold articles are being hallmarked with Hallmark Unique Identification (HUID) every day.
Since the implementation of mandatory hallmarking, the ministry said, the number of registered jewellers has increased from 34,647 to 1,81,590, while Assaying and Hallmarking Centers (AHCs) rose to 1,471 from 945.
"More than 26 crore articles of gold jewellery have been hallmarked with HUID so far," the ministry said.
Consumers are encouraged to verify the authenticity and purity of the hallmarked gold jewellery items with the HUID number purchased by using 'verify HUID' in the BIS Care App, which can be downloaded from the Play Store.
The number of downloads of the BIS Care App has increased from 2.3 lakhs during 2021-22 to 12.4 lakh in the current financial year. Further, more than one crore hits of 'verify HUID' in the BIS Care App have been recorded as of date in the span of the last two years, it added.
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