Out of the 733 districts in the country, only 234 districts now have Assaying & Hallmarking Centres. It is an admitted fact that only 8% of the entire country has access to Assaying & Hallmarking centres. There are numerous districts in India which are devoid of any Assaying & Hallmarking Centres. There is a paucity of centres as against the number of registered jewellers. Considering that there are several jewellers who are yet to be registered under the regulations, going forward this deficiency is only going to widen and therefore abundant infrastructure is required to address this deficiency.

In view of the mandate set out in the Order, every piece of gold article/ artefact that jewellers intend to store, exhibit and sell all across the country is required to be hallmarked. In this regard, the accessibility to A&H Centres is of utmost importance.

We intend to have at least one Kharaa Sona Centre per district. Given that the number of A&H Centres are noticeably low, jewellers from districts in which there are no A&H Centres, have to transport their gold articles to the district where such centres are present. This poses an additional risk of transportation and creates a substantial risk of theft and to human life. Also, the cost involved for transportation of precious jewellery articles to the respective A&H Centres is significantly high and authentic and reliable courier services are not available in almost 80% of the districts and talukas across India. As a result of the scarcity of A&H Centres, the jewellers will have to incur additional costs of travel, transportation and will have to increase the insured amount for the articles being transported because as per the Order, jewellers will not be permitted to carry out their business without hallmarking. This unequivocally imposes a fetter on the ability of jewellers to carry on their trade.

It is therefore of paramount importance to open between 400 ~ 2000 of easily accessible A&H Centres Pan India, in a well-planned and phased manner. The number of centres would also be required to be in line with the approximate number of jewellers in the area as the outreach of the jewellery industry is to the smallest and most remote and rural parts of the country as well. Kharaa Sona intends setting up of the centres in a manner that ever jeweller would have an A&H Centre within a maximum radius of at least 10 kilometres.

Kharaa Sona will support with adequate infrastructure including but not limited to suitable machinery, availability of staff, training staff, etc. that are imperative to meet the objective of the Order. In fact, without having adequate infrastructure, it would not be possible for jewellers to adhere to the mandatory hallmarking requirement. It has to be ensured that there are at least one A&H Centre in each district in the country.