Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, while speaking on the valedictory function of hallmarking awareness week organised by Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) at Barog, said that 925 tonnes of gold was being used by the people in India every year which was 65 tonnes in the year 1982.
He said that consumers should be aware of their rights while making purchases of ornaments and other essential commodities. He said that Indian consumers very often become victim of irregular gold quality and such awareness programmes play an importance role in awakening the consumers. Dhumal said that jewelers should take maximum benefit of BIS Hallmarking scheme in order to win their credibility and provide complete consumer satisfaction. He said that the people in the rural areas should also be made aware of the quality of gold and such awareness programmes needed to be organised in these areas. He said that if the goldsmiths were paid as per their hard work they put in shaping the metal, the substandard quality gold can be controlled to a great extent and on purchase of the same there exists the bond of trust between both the consumers and the vendors. He said that there were about three lakhs units dealing in this business in the country. He said that India produces quality gold and was one of the leading country in the production of the metal. Besides, the export of quality gold ornaments would help in strengthening the economy of the country. He appealed to the consumers to purchase other products of ISI mark.
Chief Minister said that the western countries were adopting the Indian life style and the ancient system of preservation of environment was becoming popular amongst them. He said that today Himachal Pradesh had emerged as leading State in environment conservation and had set an example for other States as well. He said that the motive behind organizing such programmes or celebrating weeks and days should not be confined for particular period of time but should be adopted as routine.
Earlier, Chief Minister handed over the first hallmark certificate of BIS to the jeweler hailing from Rekong Peo and appreciated the efforts of BIS in creating awareness by organizing such programmes. Alka Panda, Additional Director General, BIS, New Delhi said that India is the largest consumer of gold and more than 900 tonnes was imported out of which 80% of gold goes into fabrication of 22 carat jewellery.
K.K. Narang, Deputy Director General (North), BIS, Chandigarh welcomed the Chief Minister and said that BIS was organizing awareness programmes with the aim of promoting hallmarking schemes. Anil Kumar Arora, Head, Hallmarking, BIS Headquarters, New Delhi informed about various events which took place during the entire week of celebrations and explained about the scheme of Hallmarking of Gold jewellery. BIS also organised Nukkad Natak based on the theme of Hallmarking of gold jewellery. Rajiv Saijal, MLA, Kumari Sheela, Chairperson, Zila Parishad, Pawan Gupta, Vice President, MC, Mohan Singh Thakur, President, Mandi Samiti, Meera Anand, President, State BJP Mahila Morcha, Amar Singh Thakur, Secretary, H.P. Khadi Board, Ritu Sethi, Secretary, State Child Development Council, Satpal Kamboj, former MLA, representatives of various associations of jewelers, and other senior officers were present on the occasion among others.