Mumbai: India Bullion & Jewellers Association (IBJA) will bear down hard on unscrupulous bullion dealers and jewellers who pass off impure gold as that of 24-carat purity. The 17,000-member trade association would lodge not only a police complaint against errant parties, but also complain to the tax authorities as the entities invoice the good sold as 99.5 per cent when it is actually of lower purity.
IBJA’s decision proceeds from a spate of complaints on impure 24 carat bars being received by jewellery makers from states like Delhi, UP, MP and Maharashtra. This after some of them melted the bars only to find lower gold content than embossed on the bar.
The action of the trade body to protect the interest of the end-consumer and artisans, who are contracted by jewellers to manufacture ornaments, was confirmed by its chairman Prithviraj Kothari and national secretary Surendra Mehta. “In the past few years, jewellery manufacturers have been complaining about impure bars being passed off as 24 carat (995), and the complaints have increased of late,” said Mehta. “We have learnt that certain unscrupulous bullion dealers and jewellers conspire to pass these inferior purity bars off as 24 carat. IBJA has communicated to all in the trade about this malpractice and the fact that action would be initiated in the form of complaints to the police and the IT department, if, after giving the errant entities a chance to explain themselves, we are convinced there was wrongdoing.”
Jewellery industry sources such as Kumar Jain of UT Zaveri said the impure bars were available at a discount and that both buyer (jeweller) and seller (bullion dealer) were involved in the “wrongdoing.”
He said that not only would the end-consumer get value for money spent but even artisans who handcraft jewellery would be protected. “This would stop hopefully after we initiate this action.”
IBJA has advised all its members and others in the trade to check the serial number on the bars and verify its purity and ensure that all these parameters are mentioned on the invoice, which can be traced back to the selling parties.