Nearly 371 categories of items such as toys, steel bars, steel tubes, consumer electronics, telecom items, heavy machinery, paper, rubber articles and glass which are largely imported from countries such as China would be brought under the mandatory Indian Standards (IS) regime by next March. This will put a curb on the import of sub-standard items. The commerce ministry had identified these items last year. Officials said the process has been expedited to meet the requirement under the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative to reduce imports and increase exports.
Responding to a question, BIS director general Pramod Kumar Tiwari said, “The commerce ministry has identified 371 imported tariff lines, including Chinese products. We are framing the mandatory standards for these items and to improve the enforcement including at government-owned major ports such as in Kandla, JNPT and Cochin by deploying our officers,” he added.
Minutes after consumer affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan launched two BIS websites, Tiwari said the ministries concerned are identifying the important items from the list given by the commerce ministry and they are also approaching BIS for making the mandatory standards.
He added that there won’t be any requirement for such standards for some items since “these are imported in less quantity”. On the timeline for notifying the standards, Tiwari said the norms will be in place by December for most products and the rest by March 2021.
The BIS chief said the officials deployed at ports are working closely with customs officials and are carrying out tests on the spot. On the ramping up of market surveillance of products, he said BIS is targeting to increase the surveillance visits at factories and markets by five-fold; from only 20,000 in 2019-20 to more than a lakh this year.
Paswan directed BIS to carry out intense market surveillance for violation of MRP and other packaging standards such as country of origin, dates of manufacturing and expiry since these impact all consumers. Tiwari also said the process for “One Nation One Standard” has also started.