The Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Ms. Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today informed that the number of gold hallmarking laboratories operational in the country as of date is 1374.
Hallmarking had been made mandatory from 23 June 2021 only in 256 districts of the Country which had at least one recognized Assaying & Hallmarking Centre (AHC).
Further, effective from 01 June 2022, the ambit of mandatory hallmarking was extended to 32 more districts, making the mandatory hallmarking regime applicable in 288 districts having at least one recognized AHC. Thus, the infrastructure is sufficient to cater to the demands of the districts wherein Hallmarking has become mandatory.
At present 1374 BIS Recognised AHCs, spread across 335 districts are under operation. The BIS Registered Jewellers can send their jewellery to any one of these centres. These AHCs have hallmarked more than 17 crore pieces of gold jewellery in the span of the last 1.5 years since the implementation of mandatory hallmarking.
Setting up of A&H centres is a market-driven activity where a decision to open an AHC at a particular location is taken by the private entrepreneur based on the demand at that location. After the implementation of the mandatory hallmarking order, the number of BIS Recognised Assaying and Hallmarking Centres has increased from 942 to 1374 in the span of 1.5 years.
Further, Govt. also provides Central Assistance to prospective entrepreneurs for 'Setting up of Gold Assaying and Hallmarking Centres' in India in locations where no Assaying & Hallmarking Centre (assisted or otherwise) exists. BIS has also launched the scheme for setting up Off-site centres (OSC) by the BIS-recognised AHCs with the objective to provide the jewellers easy access to the hallmarking facility.