India's tightened consumer goods standards could hurt China imports
NEW DELHI: India is tightening quality controls for consumer and capital goods, officials say, a move that follows calls to curb cheap imports from China amid diplomatic tensions between the world's two most populous nations over their shared border.
The new rules target toys, electronic goods, machinery, food processing, construction and chemicals, sectors dominated by China, and come amid greater scrutiny of mainland firms looking to enter India's multi-billion dollar power transmission and telecoms business.
For India's toy retailers, who import everything from toy cars to musical phones and even robots from China, the new requirements have meant supply disruptions just ahead of the Diwali festive season.
The government's Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has approximately 23,000 standards across industries, many of which are never fully enforced, officials say. Now, government departments have been asked to carry out laboratory tests and spot inspection to ensure goods conform to the regulations.
"We have started this work on a war footing, to have quality control orders for almost every product that we are consuming in the country," said Ramesh Abhishek who heads the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion.
The new rules apply to both foreign manufacturers and domestic firms.