New norms to be formulated for sub-standard imports issue

A senior government official said “We are pushing for certain standardisation of products that come into the country. This will not only result in exports promotion, but also curb cheap imports from countries.” Any item that enters Indian shores must adhere to certain quality and standards, also adding that sector regulators such as Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), Bureau of Indian Standards, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), among others are working towards setting certain standards and technical regulations for imports. The government is working to strengthen standards norms and certification for shipments entering the country, as a part of its strategy to rein sub-standard imports from countries including China.

Another government official said that the commerce ministry has told other ministries to consistently monitor and review imports of goods pertaining to their industry. Former Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that India should provide quality goods at an affordable price and set standards, rather than following them. Sitharaman also launched the India Standards Portal in May serving as a hub for all information on standards, technical regulations, accreditation practices, and the related bodies in India. This comes at a time when there has been loud noise on for import restriction on items, especially related to renewable energy, electronics and information technology as inward shipments of these products has escalated from China. In the last two years, Indian steel industry faced brunt of surge in cheap imports, especially from China that rendered local companies uncompetitive.

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