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New Bureau of Indian Standards law revolutionary: Paswan
The Bill empowers the government to make hallmarking of gold and silver mandatory
By: Diamond World News Service
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Mar 10 2016 12:27PM
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Reference: 12782  

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The Bureau of Indian Standard Bill, passed by Parliament, empowers the government to make hallmarking of gold and silver mandatory and provides for jail up to two years and fine up to 10 times of the goods' value in case of violation related to misuse of standards.

Parliament yesterday passed a bill to replace the 30 year- old Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) Act. The Bill was passed by Rajya Sabha yesterday after getting the nod of Lok Sabha on December 3, 2015.

Terming the new bill as "revolutionary", Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan today said the proposed law empowers BIS to recall products not conforming to standards.

In case of offence committed by any company, he said every director, manager and secretary responsible for the conduct of the business would be liable, irrespective of the fact that the offence has been committed with or without their consent or connivance.

"It is a revolutionary bill. There are various provisions in this bill which are in consumer’s interest and at the same time manufacturers also have the option for self-declaration," Paswan said while highlighting the main features of the Bill.

The Bill would help consumers to get quality products and would also help in preventing import of sub-standard products, he said, adding that the new law would give a boost to the government's Make in India programme.

"In this Act, there is a provision empowering government for mandatory hallmarking of gold," the minister said.

Stating that there have been complaints about hallmarking of gold that 9 carat gold is being sold as 22 carat gold, Paswan said he has called a meeting of jewellers tomorrow to address this issue.

"This act also makes company's top officials liable for the poor quality of goods having BIS standards. For ease of doing business, companies can also self declare that there are goods as per BIS standards," he said.

The minister said the new Bill empowers government to make standards for any product mandatory in national interest or in consumer’s interest or in interest of environment.

On food products, Paswan said the BIS would now recognise the standards framed by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

"Stringent penalty provisions have been made for violation of compliance to the standards which include imprisonment up to two years or with fine up to ten times of the value of goods produced or sold, or with both," an official statement said.

The Bill empowers the government to bring any article, process or service, which it considers necessary from point of view of health, safety, environment, prevention of deceptive practices, security etc, under the mandatory certification regime, it added.

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