Enhancing the competitiveness of Indian goods and services in domestic and global markets requires a robust quality ecosystem. This becomes particularly important now, given the rapid growth as well as the emerging relevance of the Indian economy in global trade.
Realising that it is essential to have a harmonised, dynamic and mature Standards framework for this, the government, on Tuesday (19 June), came out with a product and services Standardisation Strategy, reports PTI.
Releasing the strategy, Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu said at a CII function, that standards of goods and services would help promote exports and boost the domestic economy.
The strategy includes promoting ‘Brand India’, developing quality norms for the services sector, and easing compliance burden for small and medium enterprises. It intends to develop a comprehensive ecosystem for standards and quality development, besides using Standards for providing a level-playing field to domestic industry and enhancing the competitiveness of Indian products.
As part of standards development, it has set eight goals that including convergence of all standards development activities in India, harmonising standards with international norms, and development of services sector standards.
In fact, the strategy paper brings up a relatively new topic of standardisation in services, which is weakly addressed in trade law. Services account for a major share in the Indian and global economy, and there is an urgent need to develop standards here.
Setting up a national task force with the mandate to identify the service quality gaps in the 12 champion sectors, including IT and communication, has also been proposed.
The paper also talked about the need for the `Brand India’ label to be significantly large in scale, and operated on professional lines – if the outreach of our products is to be expanded for a global audience.
All elements of the strategy are expected to be undertaken and completed over a five-year period (2018-23). They will focus on focus on four areas, namely: standards development, conformity assessment and accreditation, technical regulations, and awareness and education.
Implementation is often a problem in the Indian scenario, and foreseeing this, it has been decided that the implementation of the Strategy would be monitored by a high-level committee, with quarterly reviews.
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