Excellent Product Certification System is a pre-requisite for success of Make in India campaign – Ram Vilas Paswan
Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Civil Supplies, Ram Vilas Paswan at a Press Conference in Mumbai. January 19, 2015.
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India needs to develop an excellent product certification system, on par with international standards, to make Indian goods acceptable worldwide. “In fact, this is a pre-requisite for the Prime Minister’s ambitious ‘Make In India’ campaign to succeed”. This was stated by Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Civil Supplies, Ram Vilas Paswan at a review meeting of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) in Mumbai today.
The Minister, who is on a two day visit to Maharashtra, arrived in Mumbai from Nagpur and took stock of the activities of BIS in the presence of its DG Mr. M J Joseph. Later, addressing a press conference, Mr. Paswan said, the Bureau of Indian Standards had formulated 19,000 standards out of which 6,000 were internationally comparable. BIS certifies 933 products with the ISI mark. Presently, ISI certification is compulsory for 123 products, but the Minister said, we needed to increase this number. He said, public health products, especially bottled drinking water should be brought under ISI certification to increase consumer confidence. The Minister also said that hallmarking of gold and silver jewellery should give clear information about purity of metals.
The Minister said, there was an urgent need to revamp and scale up the activities of BIS, keeping pace with the changing times. He said, the laboratories of BIS needed to be equipped with the state-of-the art testing equipment, motivating even the industry trend setters to seek ISI certification. He also asked the BIS to cut down on the time taken for certification, as a customer friendly measure.
Stressing that the government is committed to consumer protection, Mr. Ram Vilas Paswan batted for more powers for consumer protection authorities and forums. He also called for broad basing of consumer redress mechanisms by inducting people from different walks of life, besides those from the judicial / legal background. The Minister said a broad based Consumer Protection Authority will be set up, which will be empowered to take suo-moto action against violating companies. He said the government will bring amendments to the Consumer Protection Act to make the redressal mechanism easy and universally accessible.
The minister lashed out at the companies resorting to misleading advertisements, and said the government was seized of the matter. “An Inter-Ministerial Committee’ has been set up to look into the matter, which also has representatives of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting and Health & Family Welfare.
Mr. Paswan said, the level of consumer awareness in the country was low, but added that campaigns like ‘jaago grahak jaago’ had succeeded in making a good beginning. He said, BIS should also undertake massive consumer awareness programme, especially in regional languages. The Minister also mentioned the use of social media to spread consumer awareness.
PIB Mum | IVJ (MD)