Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on August 21 launched an online system for registration and renewal of licence of gold assaying and hallmarking centres.
The online mode will bring ease of doing business for both the jewellers and entrepreneurs who have established hallmarking centres or wish to do so.
Currently, gold hallmarking is voluntary in nature. However, it will be made mandatory from June 2021. Gold sold by jewellers will need to have 'hallmark' quality certification.
Presently, there are 921 hallmarking centres located in 234 districts.
"With hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts becoming mandatory, the number of jewellers coming forward for registration is expected to go to 5 lakh from the present level of about 31,000," Paswan told reporters after the virtual launch.
The online system will ensure that applications to set up a new centre or renew the existing licence can be submitted online.
Entire process of recognition, which involves an audit of the centres, submission of audit reports and grant of recognition or renewal, has been automated, he said.
"Not only the applicant will have all the information available with him, but it will also be possible to do real-time basis monitoring of the processing of applications," he added.
Paswan further said the online system of audit will facilitate expeditious disposal of complaints regarding malpractices in the hallmarking of jewellery items.
The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is also working on a module to automate the work-flow of the assaying and hallmarking centres, which is expected to be ready by December 20, he added.
Stating that setting up of hallmarking centres in rural areas is necessary, Paswan said it is because people in villages are unaware of "hallmarked" gold. Therefore, the focus has been on setting up at least one hallmarking centre in each district across the country, he added.
The government has launched the online system because it was not possible to handle so many proposals for registration in an efficient manner manually, he said.