Consumer Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal on January 6 said the government will bring more products under the mandatory quality norm as India moves towards becoming a developed nation by 2047.
Addressing virtually the 77th foundation day of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), Mr. Goyal said complying with high quality standards in products and services will help India achieve high goals and become a developed nation.
Towards this direction, the BIS should become an ambassador of quality standards. “It should not just become an adopter of standards, but should be a pioneer of standards,” he said.
That apart, the BIS should frame quality standards comparable to international standards wherever possible. “For example in products such as lift, air filters and medical devices, I think India can be a front-runner and set international standards.” He also urged for much greater stakeholder engagement for making quality standards and asked the industry to be more demanding to set labs for testing the quality.
Hailing the BIS efforts in creating a quality conscious nation, the Minister said bringing more products under the mandatory compliance of quality norms issued through the Quality Control Order (QCO) has ensured availability of quality products/services to the consumers.
“So far, 156 QCOs have been issued, covering 672 products. Before 2014, only 106 products were covered under 14 QCOs,” he said.
“In future, more products will be brought under the QCO. I believe we will be covering 2,000-2,500 products,” he said, and added, “Our commitment to the quality will be so strong that every product/service available in India will be of higher quality.”
The Minister further said that over decades, India was dependent on foreign standards for quality. “Now, India’s pace and progress will be decided and dependent on our own standards. We will rely on our standards, not foreign standards, thus become self-reliant,” he added.
Among initiatives taken in the recent years, Mr. Goyal said hallmarking of gold jewellery and mandatory quality compliance in toys stand out and which brought transformation in the country. Hallmarking is a purity certification of the precious metal.
“Currently, hallmarking facilities are available in more than 340 districts. More than 4.15 lakh articles are hallmarked on a daily basis and 90-95% consumers buy hallmarked jewellery,” he said.
“Similarly in toys too, the mandatory quality compliance has helped reduce the cheap imports by 52% and now safe and quality toys are available in the Indian market,” he added.
Asserting that good quality is non-negotiable and complying with quality does not make the product costlier, the Minister urged the industry to actively engage in setting quality standards and stressed on maintaining transparency in quality testing.
Minister of State for Consumer Affairs Ashwini Choubey, Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh, Department of Promotion and Internal Trade Secretary Rajesh Kumar Singh, and BIS Director General Pramod Kumar Tiwari were present at the event.
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