March 2, 2021 3:25:42 am
Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Piyush Goyal on Monday urged government departments and public sector undertakings (PSUs) to abide only by Indian standards in procurement processes and asked them to not follow “videshi” (foreign) standards while purchasing goods.
Addressing the governing council of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), Goyal said, “A letter should be sent to all the state governments from my office that they should stipulate only Indian standards while doing whatever procurement.
“Koi videshi standards ko na koi PSU kare na Bharat sarkar ya koi rajya sarkar kare. (Whether the Government of India or state governments or any PSU — none should follow foreign standards),” he said.
“If there is no standard available, then they should inform the BIS. We will formulate standards immediately.”
Goyal called for guidelines to be brought in so that India’s export quality is at a par with international standards.
In keeping with Atmanirbhar initiative
The push for Indian Standards comes at a time when the government is focused on promoting domestic manufacturing in keeping with the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative. The Bureau of Indian Standards – or BIS – fixes Indian standards for various items. Several departments are learnt to have already issued instructions and asked line departments to follow Indian standards. The Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairy, for instance, has issued directions to the National Dairy Development Board and all state dairy federations to comply with the instructions.
“We have to make India a country of international quality. Sub-standard goods will not be allowed to be exported from here. Goods of good quality will be sold both within India as well as be exported abroad…,” the minister said.
Goyal’s remarks come days after his ministry had asked other Union ministries to issue instructions to PSUs and organisations under their control to follow Indian rather than foreign standards in public procurement.
In a letter sent in early February to over a dozen ministries, Consumer Affairs Secretary Leena Nandan had stated, “I would like to draw your kind attention to the usage of Indian Standards. Several PSUs and Government Organisations are using standards formulated by private or international bodies even for products for which Indian Standards exist.
“There are instances of their referring to non-Indian Standards in their procurement processes, which is disadvantageous for Indian manufacturers, who are producing goods as per Indian Standards…. It is requested that appropriate instructions regarding procurement of goods as per Indian Standards may kindly be issued,” she wrote.
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