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Hallmarking of Gold Jewellery Becomes Mandatory from January, 2020

Regarding the impact on prices, the Kolkata-based jeweller, however, said that there is unlikely to be any impact on prices as hallmarking of one gold item costs "only around Rs 40" and traders would be able to afford it

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gold jewelry
Among so many kinds of gold jewelry items, gold bangles are the most popular. Pixabay

Union Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Friday announced that hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts will be mandatory from January 15, 2020.

Addressing the media, Paswan said that hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts is being made mandatory in India for which a notification will be issued by the Department of Consumer Affairs and a period of one year will be given for implementation to ensure that new assaying and hallmarking centres will be set up by private entrepreneurs at locations where demand of gold jewellery and artefacts arises.

Jewellers will also get a year’s time for completion of their registration process and retailers also would have a year to clear their existing stocks.

The minister said that hallmarking will benefit the poor people in villages and small towns who are not able to make out the purity of gold they have been buying.

The Bureau of Indian Standards Act 2016 has enabling provisions under Section 14 and Section 16 for making hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts mandatory by the Central government. This will make it compulsory for all the jewellers selling gold jewellery and artefacts to register with the BIS and sell only hallmarked gold jewellery and artefacts, an official statement said.

The BIS Act 2016 has been implemented with effect from October 12, 2017 and BIS Hallmarking Regulations 2018 notified with effect from June 14, 2018. BIS has been running a hallmarking scheme for gold jewellery since April 2000. As on October 31, 2019, there were 877 assaying and hallmarking centres spread in 234 district locations across the country and so far 26,019 jewellers have taken BIS registration, as per the statement.

The World Gold Council (WGC) welcomed the move and said that it would benefit both the consumers and traders alike.

Idea, Gold, Imports
The idea of reducing gold imports is important, but suggestions ranging from raising import duties further to imposing bans need to be reassessed urgently. Pixabay

Somasundaram P.R., Managing Director, India, WGC said: “This is an excellent step in the right direction, a long overdue policy action. It will bring trust back to the gold industry, benefiting consumers and trade alike. It will change the image of the Indian gold industry and enable it to market our famed jewellery handcrafting skills in an environment of trust and transparency.”

“Mandatory hallmarking would lead to more jobs in assaying and purity verification which in turn will support the gold monetisation scheme, he said adding that the period of one year to transition takes into account business realities and is very supportive of trade.

The decision however received concerned reactions from the market as market players say India significantly lags in terms of assaying and hallmarking centres.

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Speaking to IANS, jewellery trader and former Chairman of the All Indian Gems and Jewellery Federation Chairman, Bachhraj Bamalwa said: “Although there is not going to any major impact on the market because most of the jewellers in the metro cities carry out hallmarking, there will be issues in the three tier and four tier cities as there are no hallmarking centres. Traders in small cities will find it tough to get their jewellery stock hallmarked, as the reach of the hallmarking centres is quity low.”

“Government should take the industry into confidence in order to make the law,” Bamalwa said.

Regarding the impact on prices, the Kolkata-based jeweller, however, said that there is unlikely to be any impact on prices as hallmarking of one gold item costs “only around Rs 40” and traders would be able to afford it. (IANS)

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NRAI Slams Zomato for Extending its “Gold” Programme on its Delivery Platform

It is another instance of Zomato changing the goalpost

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NRAI, Zomato, Gold
The programme is currently available in 16 cities. Pixabay

The National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) on Saturday slammed Zomato for extending its “Gold” programme on its delivery platform, saying it is a desperate attempt by the online food aggregator to shore up the sinking fortunes of its flagship Gold programme.

Zomato has announced to take its Gold programme where existing and new Zomato Gold members will be able to use Gold for home delivery orders. The programme is currently available in 16 cities.

Zomato Gold was till date available only on eating out at fine-dine restaurants.

“It is another instance of Zomato changing the goalpost. Gold was originally launched as a tool to promote the culture of ‘dining out’, but now it is being extended on deliveries too,” said NRAI, which has been at loggerheads with Zomato regarding the Gold programme over deep discounting practices.

NRAI, Zomato, Gold
The National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) on Saturday slammed Zomato for extending its “Gold” programme on its delivery platform, saying it is a desperate attempt. Pixabay

“Essentially, it is now a programme that merely promotes ‘deep discounts’ on both dine-in and delivery verticals, the cost of which is borne solely by the restaurant partners,” the restaurants’ trade body added.

NRAI also said that it continues to remain firm in its belief that Zomato Gold in its current form is an unacceptable proposition.

“We expressed the same unequivocally to the Zomato team in our recent talks. However, in utter disregard to the viability of the restaurant fraternity, they have chosen to extend the programme further to the delivery vertical as well,” the NRAI said.

“The NRAI remains steadfast in its belief that Zomato Gold in its current form is not acceptable in either dine-in or delivery segment,” Anurag Katriar, President of NRAI, had said in a statement.

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According to the NRAI, Zomato’s move will be calamitous to the business in the delivery segment and NRAI appeals to all restaurants and cloud kitchen entrepreneurs to stay away from Zomato Gold on delivery.

“Offer right quality at the right price, rather than falling for such discount gimmicks,” NRAI told Zomato, adding that the #ZoGoIsNoGo campaign is on and “we continue to #StayLoggedOut.”

According to Zomato, food delivery was in its early stages when it launched the Gold programme in 2017.

“We thank our restaurant partners for all the feedback, and users for the love they have shown towards Zomato Gold. It is very much these conversations, that led us to put forward a better and bigger Gold programme,” Gaurav Gupta, Co-founder and COO, Zomato, said in a statement.

NRAI, Zomato, Gold
Zomato has announced to take its Gold programme where existing and new Zomato Gold members will be able to use Gold for home delivery orders. Pixabay

The Gold programme drives 25-30 per cent business for its restaurant partners and more and more Gold users (90 per cent) are exploring new restaurants because of the programme.

“It, therefore, makes eminent sense to extend this discovery behaviour to the delivery restaurant base,” said Gupta.

Zomato has always been hellbent to make its contentious Gold programme available for delivery.

“With over 13,000 establishments across 41 cities, Zomato Gold for Delivery brings a wide choice of great restaurants to Zomato Gold members,” added Mohit Gupta, CEO, Delivery, Zomato.

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Gold on delivery will offer the second-highest priced item on the order for free, except for combos, MRP items and special dishes.

It will only apply on minimum order values of Rs 300 with discount capped at Rs 300 per order.

New users will pay Rs 1,800 for an annual package that will give them access to dining out and delivery privileges. (IANS)