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Ram Vilas Paswan, Union Minister And LJP Chief, Admitted To Escorts Hospital With Breathing Problem

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 07 October 2019, 06:32 PM
A team of doctors is monitoring the condition of Ram Villas Paswan.
A team of doctors is monitoring the condition of Ram Villas Paswan. (Photo Credit : PTI )

Union Minister and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Ram Vilas Paswan was on Monday admitted to Escorts Hospital after he complained to breathing problem. 

A team of doctors is monitoring the condition of the minister for food, public distribution and consumer affairs.

Paswan recently approved a proposal to make BIS hallmarking mandatory for gold jewellery, but it can be implemented only after informing the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

As per global trade rules of WTO, a member country has to notify a quality control order with the Geneva-based multilateral body and the process takes about two months time.

Gold hallmarking is a purity certification of the precious metal and is voluntary in nature at present.

The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), under the Consumer Affairs Ministry, is the administrative authority for hallmarking. It has set standards for hallmarking gold jewellery in three grades -- 14 carat, 18 carat and 22 carat.

"I am happy to share the Commerce Department has cleared the proposal on October 1. There is a technical issue related to the WTO (before its implementation)," Paswan told reporters.

Explaining the issue, Consumer Affairs Secretary Avinash K Srivastava said member countries of WTO have to be given two months time to respond to the quality control order notified to the WTO.

Exporting nations have to comply with the BIS quality norms specified for gold in the quality control order. India is a part of the 164-member WTO since 1995.

Currently, there are about 800 hallmarking centres across the country and only 40 per cent of the jewellery is hallmarked.

India is the largest importer of gold, which mainly caters to the demand of jewellery industry. In volume terms, the country imports 700-800 tonne of gold annually.

With PTI Inputs

First Published: Monday, October 07, 2019 06:05 PM
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