In a move to check cheaper imports and protect the domestic leather manufacturing sector, the Narendra Modi government has come out with guidelines on production, sales, trading and import of leather footwear with regard to quality.
In a notification issued last week, the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DIIPT) came up with Leather and Other Materials (Quality Control) Order, 2020, stipulating that these products should mandatorily get Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) quality mark.
The order, which came into force on 28 October when it was gazettted, also holds good for footwear that has been stocked in warehouses.
The order said that BIS certification was required for leather safety boots and shoes, canvas shoes and boots with rubber sole, safety rubber canvas boots for miners, leather safety footwear having direct moulded rubber soles, sports footwear, hi-ankle tactical boots with rubber sole, anti-riot, and derby shoes.
The order also made the BIS the certifying authority as well as the enforcing agent on the leather goods. The order will not apply for leather goods and footwear that are exported.
The latest development is part of the Modi government’s move to bring in technical regulations, including safety and quality standards, for over 370 products to check their imports.
Most of these products are considered as non-essential and hence, the BIS norms are being applied to make it tough especially for cheaper imports to find their way into the country.
At the same time, the consumer, through the BIS standard norms, is being assured quality product. This can help not only improve the quality but tap export opportunities.
Earlier this year, BIS Director-General Pramod Kumar Tiwari told the media that quality norms will be fixed for 371 products by March next year to check imports of sub-standard and non-essential goods.
Some of the 371 items are imported from China, with who India’s relations have been affected in view of the skirmish at Ladakh’s Galwan Valley in May this year.
These 371 products will include sectors such as steel, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, electric machinery, furniture and toys.
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