The compulsory hallmarking of gold bullion is not going to become mandatory from July 1 as the Centre has only begun consultations with stakeholders. Consumer affairs ministry sources said that there is a lot of confusion over the fact that compulsory hallmarking is going to come into effect from July 1 onwards on gold bullion, which is not the case. “Mandatory hallmarking is not going to come into effect from July 1 onwards for gold bullion. The process to make it compulsory has only just begun,” highly placed sources informed IANS. A sub-committee has been formed to initiate the process, and discussions with all the stakeholders are going on, the sources added further. Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) chief Pramod Kumar Tiwari had said in March this year that the government plans to make hallmarking of gold bullion mandatory and is ready with the draft guidelines. Sources further informed that discussions with stakeholders are going on to finalise the guidelines. Gold bullion is used as a raw material for manufacturing of jewellery and its purity is paramount, considering the large volume of jewellery. Hallmarked gold bullion will help in ensuring the desired purity of gold jewellery being manufactured in the country. India is the world’s largest consumer and importer of gold. The country imports about 700-800 tonnes of gold annually.