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Goyal asks BIS to cut quality testing charges for MSMEs, startups & women entrepreneurs

Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal on Monday said the charges for testing quality of products should be reduced for MSMEs and initial phase of startups and women entrepreneurs to encourage them to get their products certified and meet standard norms.

Goyal, who is also railways and commerce minister, virtually presided the 3rd Governing Council meeting of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), an official statement said. Addressing the meeting, he said there is a need to change the approach of the country towards standardisation.

“Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given the three mantra for faster economic development i.e. Speed, Skill and Scale. Now it is time to add fourth dimension of ‘Standard’ in to this,” the minister said. Goyal said the fee for testing of standards should be reduced drastically “throughout” for the MSMEs and in the initial years for the startups and for women entrepreneurs.

This will encourage them to get their products certified and also encourage the ease of doing business, he added.

Goyal directed the BIS to go in for massive expansion and modernisation of testing labs so that entrepreneurs don’t have to travel far to get the testing and certification of standards.

“We have to ensure that no one has to travel far for quality check for want of testing labs,” he added. Goyal said the products manufactured in India should be of international standards whether it is manufactured for local market or for international market and further added that the quality should not be diluted to give advantage to any person or institution, whether private or government.

He said that it is a challenge for BIS to fast track the standard setting processes, especially for these programmes of national priority. BIS must therefore ensure that its technical Committees develop the required new standards in the quickest possible time for products where presently none exist, or review and revise existing standards whenever required, the minister said.

Goyal reviewed the process of making Indian Standards and their implementation with officials from BIS, different ministries and regulators, among others. Wide ranging discussions were held on how standards are set and what can be done to make their implementation/ enforcement better. It was emphasized that there should be ‘One Nation One Standard’ and Indian Standard should be set as per global benchmarks.

Goyal instructed BIS to create a customer charter to usher in highest transparency in its certification process and inspections. BIS has already formulated various Indian Standards comparable with the International Standards such as the Electric vehicles, Fuel blends, Smart City Digital Infrastructure, Internet of Things (IoT), Smart Manufacturing, Technical Textiles, Aerial Ropeways, etc.

The bureau is operating more than 37,000 product certification licences all over the country. 55 new products have been covered for the first time under the Product Certification Scheme, since April 1, 2020. A consumer engagement portal has been launched to facilitate interaction with consumer organizations/groups for conducting various consumer oriented programmes and activities of BIS.

An upgraded version of android mobile app – BIS CARE is in place to facilitate stakeholders to verify authenticity of ISI mark, registered jewellers and marked electronic goods under Compulsory Registration Scheme (CRS). The app also facilitates users in submitting complaints.