Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry has recently notified 2 more new Quality Control Orders (QCOs) for ‘Solar DC Cable and Fire Survival Cable’ and ‘Cast Iron Products’, on 25th August 2023, which will come into force from six months from the date of notification.
Cast Iron Products (Quality Control) Order, 2023 includes standards pertaining to various cast iron products such as Manhole Covers, Cast Iron Pipes, Malleable Iron Fittings, and Grey Iron Castings.
Solar DC Cable and Fire Survival Cable (Quality Control) Order, 2023 includes Electric Cable for Photovoltaic Systems which are primarily used for the interconnection of the various elements of photovoltaic systems such as solar panel arrays. These cables can be used indoors and outdoors for flexible and fixed installations with high mechanical strength in extreme weather conditions. Fire Survival Cables are designed to sustain high temperatures for a defined minimum period of time under direct fire. They are used in nuclear power plants, airports, metro rails, refineries, high-rise buildings, shopping malls and cinema theatres etc.
Prior to the notification of the QCOs, extensive stakeholder consultations with key industry associations and industry members were conducted for their input. The draft QCOs were then approved by the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry followed by legal vetting by the Department of Legislative Affairs. Subsequently, the QCOs were uploaded on the World Trade Organisation (WTO) website for 60 days, inviting comments from WTO member countries.
To safeguard the domestic small/micro industries, and ensure smooth implementation of the QCO and Ease of Doing Business, relaxations have been granted to small/micro industries in terms of timelines in the Cast Iron Products (Quality Control) Order.
With the implementation of the QCOs, manufacturing, storing and sale of non-Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) certified products will be prohibited as per the BIS Act, 2016. The violation of the provision of the BIS Act can attract a penalty of imprisonment of up to two years or with a fine of at least Rs 2 lakh for the first offence. In case of second and subsequent offences, the fine will increase to Rs 5 lakh minimum and extend up to ten times the value of goods or articles.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while emphasising the importance of manufacturing quality products, has said, “With our people’s ability and the nation’s credibility, Indian products of top quality will travel far and wide. This will also be a true tribute to the ethos of Aatmanirbhar Bharat, a force multiplier for global prosperity.”
In pursuance of the same, DPIIT is on mission mode to establish a quality control regime in the country for the industrial sectors under its domain. QCOs shall not only improve the manufacturing quality standards in the country but also enhance the brand and value of ‘Made in India’ products. These initiatives, coupled with the development of testing labs, product manuals, accreditation of test labs etc. shall aid in the development of a quality ecosystem in India.
The Standard issued for any product is for voluntary compliance unless it is notified by the Central Government to make it mandatory, primarily through notification of Quality Control Order (QCO) under Scheme-I and Compulsory Registration Order (CRO) under Scheme-II of BIS Conformity Assessment Regulations, 2018. The objective of notifying the QCOs is to enhance the quality of the domestically manufactured products, curb the imports of sub-standard products into India, prevention of unfair trade practices, protection of human, animal or plant health and safety of the environment.
DPIIT is focusing on establishing a quality control regime for its key products such as Smart Meters, Welding Rods & Electrodes, Cookware and Utensils, Fire Extinguishers, Electric Ceiling Type Fans and Domestic Gas Stoves for use with Piped Natural Gas etc.
DPIIT in continuous consultation with BIS and stakeholders has been identifying key products requiring implementation of QCO. This has led to the initiation of the development of 60 new QCOs covering 318 product standards.
The implementation of the QCOs for these products is crucial not only for the safety of the consumers but also for improving the manufacturing quality standards in the country and curbing the imports of sub-standard products. These initiatives, coupled with the development of quality testing labs, product manuals etc. will aid in the development of a quality ecosystem in India.
With the aforementioned initiatives, the Government of India aims to develop world-class products of good quality in India, thereby fulfilling the Prime Ministers’ vision of creating an Aatmanirbhar Bharat.