Home / Politics / Policy /  Govt to install quality barriers against inferior Chinese goods

NEW DELHI : The government has identified 345 products to frame quality standards in a bid to prevent imports of substandard products from China and improve competitiveness of Indian goods in the global market.

The department for promotion of industry and internal trade (DPIIT) plans to come up with close to 70 quality control orders (QCOs) for these products ranging from cotton bales and furniture, to smart meters, sports goods, fire extinguishers and wood-based boards.

According to an internal note reviewed by Mint, the department’s top priority are the QCOs on 53 chemicals under the Rotterdam convention, 35 chemicals under Stockholm convention and 47 under the Chemical Weapons Convention.

While the Rotterdam Convention was designed to facilitate informed decision-making by countries on the trade in hazardous chemicals, the Stockholm convention aims to protect human health and the environment from persistent organic pollutants (POPs).

The Chemical Weapons Convention prohibits the development, production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons.

The DPIIT is holding stakeholder consultation for 31 draft QCOs covering 171 products, including cookware and utensils, pumps, bolts, air cookers, nuts and bicycles.

The nodal department has already come up with 11 draft QCOs covering 55 products, including building products and sanitary wares, last month that are being vetted by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).

The government is also developing product-specific online tool boxes for easy access to standard and procedures for certification by small and medium enterprises.

It is organizing exposure visits for SMEs to familiarize them with quality control measures and equipment.

So far, the DPIIT has issued around 34 QCOs covering 134 products, while the ministry of steel has issued one, covering 145 products.

The department of chemicals and petrochemicals has issued 58 QCOs covering 53 products, and the ministry of textiles has issued one covering six products. Going forward, 151 textile products have been identified for QCO.

For 19 geotextile products and 12 protective textile products, the ministry of textiles has circulated draft QCO and circulated to stakeholders for consultation.

Earlier, the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) had issued notices to e-commerce entities, Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal for sale of toys in violation to standards directed for compulsory use by the central government, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution said in a statement.

CCPA has sought response from the e-commerce entities within 7 days from issuance of notice, failing which necessary action may be initiated against them under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.

President Droupadi Murmu in her Budget day speech said that toy imports have plummeted by 70% while exports have jumped by over 60% after the government’s efforts to push manufacturing. The Bureau of Indian Standards in July 2022 had published 10 Indian Standards on safety aspects of toys related to physical safety, safety against chemicals, flammability, electrical safety, and so on. These standards were aimed at preventing the use of unsafe and toxic materials in manufacturing of toys.

Queries sent to the commerce and industry ministry remained unanswered till press time.

Dilasha Seth
" Dilasha Seth is a journalist reporting on macroeconomic policy for the last 11 years. She writes extensively on issues including international trade, macroeconomic data, fiscal policy, and taxation. At Mint, she reports on trade deals that India is signing besides key policy decisions of the Ministry of Finance. She closely tracked and covered the transition to the goods and services tax (GST) regime in 2017 and also writes on direct tax-related issues. In the past, she has worked with Business Standard and The Economic Times. She is based in Bangalore."
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