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Chinese manufacturers up their game to conform to Indian standards

Date 05-May-2015
Subject Chinese manufacturers up their game to conform to Indian standards

NEW DELHI : Chinese-made goods are now going for upgrades after years of flooding the Indian market with cheap below-the-radar products.

Data available with the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) shows that over 60% of the recently registered products are "Made in China", highlighting the eagerness of Chinese manufacturers to enhance their processes and meet Indian standards to tap into the rapidly growing market.

From mobile phones to printers, power adapters, set top boxes, notebooks, tablets and servers, Chinese manufacturers are increasingly taking advantage of a new scheme — self-declaration conformity — for meeting Indian standards. Of the 1,574 items registered with BIS, around 960 are Chinese goods, while manufacturers from Germany, the US, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore have not tapped the fast-track or Tatkal registration scheme as much.

The list includes several international names such as Dell (tablets and servers), Sony (LCD monitors) and Cisco (servers), which have registered with BIS and are using China — often called the factory to the world — to ship goods into India.

But there are also several Chinese players such as Huawei, Haier and Xiaomi that have emerged as well-established international brands and are now using the opportunity to conform to Indian standards. This is in addition to names such as Lenovo which established a global presence a few years ago.

But there are a vast majority of goods — from electricity bulbs and thermometers to Ganesha and Laxmi idols — where the government is yet to have domestic standards resulting in unregulated entry of Chinese products, reflected in the growing trade deficit. International trade rules stipulate that standards for imported goods need to be the same as those for local manufacturers.

But there are a vast majority of goods — from electricity bulbs and thermometers to Ganesha and Laxmi idols — where the government is yet to have domestic standards resulting in unregulated entry of Chinese products, reflected in the growing trade deficit. International trade rules stipulate that standards for imported goods need to be the same as those for local manufacturers.

The higher registration from China reflects the growing interest in India and the government is looking at ways to get Chinese companies to set up local manufacturing units. "They are smart enough and are aware of the huge demand in Indian market. After we announced that only products with Indian standards certification will be sold, they took no time to register their products under the scheme," a government official said.

Under this scheme, BIS scientists don't need to visit factories and the manufacturers shall be registered on the basis of testing of the product against Indian standards in a BIS recognized laboratory.

"They need to renew their IS number. If any firm fails to meet the norms or found flouting the standards, action will be initiated against the manufacturer. Once the BIS amendment bill is passed by Parliament, there will be harsher punishment for the violators. These will include recall of all products or compensation for damage to the consumers," an official said.

Sources said under the "Make in India" campaign of Modi government, all products to be manufactured and sold here even by foreign manufacturers will have to comply with BIS norms. Those setting up base only for manufacturing and exporting the items won't need to follow the Indian standard since those products are meant only for overseas market, which may have different standards.

Meanwhile, on Monday, the government said that there is a need to have standardization of services. Addressing a conference organized by BIS, consumer affairs secretary Keshav Desiraju said fixing standards for the service sector such as education, ICT, tourism, retail and logistics will help India in improving competitiveness of businesses and enhance trade.

Source : economictimes.indiatimes.com

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