New Quality Control Orders for fibres
7th Apr, 2023
Recently, the new Quality control orders (QCO) have been issued for fibres and have been made mandatory for a few.
About the Orders:
- Quality Control Orders (QCO) have been issued for fibres — cotton, polyester and viscose.
- These fibres constitute the basic raw materials for majority of the Indian textile and clothing industry.
- While the standards were available earlier too, these are now revised and made mandatory for a few, and yet to be finalised for others.
- International manufacturers of these fibres, who supply to India, are also mandated to get a certificate from the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), which is the certifying authority for the QCOs.
India’s textile sector
- India’s textile sector is one of the critical sectors of the Indian economy, accounting for more than two per cent of the total GDP and more than 12 per cent of the manufacturing sector gross domestic product (GDP).
- The sector is also the second largest provider of employment in India, after agriculture.
- It provides employment to an estimated 45 million people directly and to another 60 million indirectly through allied activities.
Why are fibres covered under QCOs?
- The Indian textile and clothing industry consumes both indigenous and imported fibres and filaments.
- The imports are for different reasons — cost competitiveness, non-availability in the domestic market, or to meet a specified demand of the overseas buyer.
- The main aim of the QCO is to control import of sub-quality and cheaper items and to ensure that customers get quality products.
- The entire supply chain, from the textile manufacturers to exporters, has so far focused on quality standards prescribed by the buyers.
Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS):
- BIS, the national standard body of India, was established under the BIS Act, 2016.
- It is responsible for the harmonious development of activities of standardisation, marking and quality certification of goods.
- The following schemes of certification are covered under BIS:
- Product Certification Scheme– Applicable for tangible products; with some products classified under compulsory certification.
- System Certification Scheme– Applicable for systems/ process
- Foreign Manufacturers Certification Scheme - Applicable for foreign manufacturers who are engaged in the sale of their products in India.
- Hallmarking – Applicable for articles made from precious metals like gold and silver
- ECO Mark Scheme – Applicable for products affecting or related to the environment