BIS Current Affairs - 2020

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New Rules to sell hallmarked gold Artifacts

On January 14, 2020, the GoI announced that Indian jewellers shall be allowed to sell hallmarked gold artifacts that are made of 14, 18 and 22 carat gold alone. Also, it is mandatory for all jewellers to get compulsory hallmark. Currently gold hallmarking is voluntary. The mandatory ruling is to be implemented from January 15, 2021.

Highlights

The Government has introduced new ruling that violation of hall marking will result in one-year imprisonment and a fine. The jewellers have been given one-year time to arrange hallmarking according to the Bureau of Indian Standards.

Hall Mark

Hall marking is the level of purity certification awarded by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). The BIS Hallmark has a triangular mark, logo of the producer and year of manufacturing of the product. It is essential to make hall marking mandatory to curb frauds and fake gold.

Current Scenario in India

Currently in India, only 28,849 jewellers have BIS registration. According to World Gold Council, the gold import of India was 496.11 tonnes in 2019.

Karat of Gold

The purity of gold is measured in karat of gold. 100% pure gold is called 24 Karat gold. 22 Karat gold is 91.6% pure and hence the name 916 hallmark in gold jewelleries.

 

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India to set strict restrictions on non-essential imports from China

Ministry of Commerce and industry has announced that 371 items from China will get strict restriction from March 2020. The move aims at curbing imports of non-essential items such as plastic goods, toys, furniture, sports.

Highlights

The rules are to be framed by the Ministry in coordination with BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards). Though the rules focus on Chinese imports, it will also be applicable to Indian producers in order to make the regulations WTO-compliant.

Currently there are 370 standards for imports. India’s plan is to increase the it to 5000 in the second phase. The move will help boost the local industries and help Indian consumers get quality products.

The non-essential commodities imports include petrochemicals, chemicals, heavy industrial products, steel products, telecommunication, electronics, etc.

Apart from trade relation with China, India is also concentrating on FTA (Free Trade Agreement) with ASEAN, Japan and South Korea that enjoy free access to Indian markets. The step is being considered to boost domestic goods.

Significance

The imports from China that are categorized as non-essential amount to 4 trillion USD. Also, trade deficit with China is widening and it currently stands at 53.6 billion USD. The step will help in reducing India’s dependence on China and will also help in curbing low quality imports from China. This is the main reason why India refused to join RCEP.

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