Industry discusses procedural issues during Awareness Session on QCOs on MMF Textile Products

New Delhi, Thursday, 16th February 2023: Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) and The Southern India Mills Association (SIMA) in association with Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) organised an Awareness Session on Understanding Impact of Quality Control Orders (QCOs) 2022 on MMF Textile Products on 16th February 2023 through virtual platform. The objective behind organising the awareness session was to make industry understand the nuances of forthcoming QCOs applicable on MMT Textile Products.

Shri T Rajkumar, Chairman, CITI stated that India is the second largest producers of Textiles and Apparel in the world after China. The current size of Indian domestic apparel & textile industry is about $170 bn., including exports and it will further increase with a good pace as Government has set an ambitious target of $100 bn export by 2030 for the textile and clothing industry. He further stated that China plus one policy post Covid-19 and China vacating space on the textile front due to increasing wages, environmental issues, and other factors have given a unique opportunity for the Indian textile sector to not just grow, but diversify into new areas, especially in the MMF segment.

Shri Rajkumar stated that the Government has mandated Bureau of Indian Standards to develop new Standards for the textile products so that Indian products have greater acceptability and recognition in the international markets. He further stated that though, the QCOs do not apply to the goods that are exported, but domestic standards will surely have a positive bearing on positioning of our products internationally too.

Shri T Rajkumar pointed out that QCOs will help to protect the users of these products from sub-standards imports thus, safeguarding the interests of the consumers related to cost, quality, reliability, health, environment, etc.

Shri T Rajkumar highlighted that at present, over 1,400 standards are available for the textile industry, most of which are voluntary in nature and are used for ensuring premium for quality products. However, since 2022, QCOs have been brought in several textile products which are mandatory in nature and hence require greater understanding and compliance by the entire industry.

Shri J.K. Gupta, Head – Textiles, Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) made a detailed presentation on the “Technical Requirements of the forthcoming QCOs for MMF Textile Products. He stated that the domestic manufactures have been granted 66 licences for the said QCOs.

Shri Rakesh Mehra, Deputy Chairman, CITI and Shri R.K. Vij, Advisor, Indo Rama Synthetics (I) Ltd. raised several concerns on various aspects of QCOs, including the timeframe in which the licences can be obtained from BIS as industry is apprehensive of importing raw material from the sourcing countries; QCOs should not become a tool of hinderance in case the licence applied for is not granted within a stipulated time frame; whether the applicants details are available on BIS website with reasons of pendency, how off-grade material can be disposed of which is a concern for the industry, issues related to job work, etc.

Shri J K Gupta responded by saying that BIS has already granted licences to the four domestic manufacturers of VSF. However, under normal practice an applicant can obtain the licence in a period of six months. He further stated that the Indian Standards are best in the world and at par with any other international standards. On the query of not having availability of testing facilities for MSMEs, he responded by saying that BIS has outsourced many of its testing facilities in the major clusters in India. Shri J K Gupta stated that the idea behind developing Standards for textile products and QCOs is to boost domestic manufacturing of quality products and strengthen the ecosystem within India.

Shri Ravi Sam, Chairman, SIMA in his concluding remarks thanked BIS for clearing the doubts/ concerns of the industry stakeholders and appreciated the efforts of CITI & SIMA for conducting such an insightful awareness session on present QCOs concerning the MMF Sector. He urged the industry stakeholders to send their feedbacks to CITI & SIMA so that the same can be raised before BIS for getting further clarity on the issues.