Making India a World-Leader in Quality
By: Shri.Piyush Goyal
India is on a mission to become a world leader in providing top-quality products that meet the highest global standards in line with Prime Minister NarendraModi’s call for ‘zero defect, zero effect’ in manufacturing.
Supply of high-quality products at competitive rates is a key part of the Prime Minister’s mission to make India a developed country by 2047. The government is taking determined steps to ensure that the ‘Made in India’ brand is a stamp of quality that delights Indian and foreign consumers.
The Prime Minister has emphasized that a profitable market can be sustained when there is a balance of interests of producers and consumers. A key plank of this strategy is a thrust on Quality Control Orders (QCOs) which mandate that specified products conform to prescribed norms of the Bureau of Indian Standards.
This is a boon both for consumers, who are assured reliable, safe and high-quality products, and businesses, which have to deal with increasingly demanding and discerning consumers in the domestic and international markets.
Prime Minister Modi’s Digital India initiative has helped the family of 140 crore Indians connect with the world and know about the best products and practices. They routinely check customer reviews for performance, durability and dependability before buying a product. They publicly highlight deficiencies if they are dissatisfied with the product. Therefore, striking a balance between product quality, price, and innovation is the need of the hour.
The Modi government is focused on developing a robust quality ecosystem to provide safe, reliable and superior-quality goods, and promoting exports of Indian products. Prior to May 2014, only 14 QCOs covering 106 products had been issued. The list has now been expanded to 148 QCOs covering 653 products. These include household products like ACs, toys and footwear.
Quality Control on Exports
QCOs have accelerated the mission of ‘Make in India for the World’. Many products under QCOs are being exported. Cast Iron products, solar DC cables, door fittings, ceiling fans, helmets, smart meters, hinges, air coolers and air filters are quality-controlled products that are exported much more than they are imported. Cast Iron products covered by QCOs had exports of $535 million last year, while imports were barely $68 million. About 25 QCOs are on products where exports exceed imports.
This clearly demonstrates that QCOs are focused on building robust quality consciousness in India. This also helps reduce dumping poor-quality goods into the country. Access to the best quality goods is the right of every Indian citizen in our AmritKaal
QCOs are also critical for the health and safety of people. Sub-standard products can be extremely hazardous for households because of risks such as fires due to cheap electronics, hospitalization of children because of toxic chemicals in toys and electrical short-circuits.
A shining example of how quality-control can dramatically upgrade manufacturing to help consumers and manufacturers is the toys industry. Prior to the implementation of this QCO, the Indian toy market was plagued by cheap, sub-standard products.
A survey by the Quality Council of India in 2019 showed that barely one-third of the toys adhered to the relevant BIS Standards, and most of them were hazardous for children. This was completely unacceptable to the Modi government, which responded swiftly with a QCO for the sector from January 1, 2021.
This substantially improved the quality of toys in India. A recent survey showed that 84% of the toys in the Indian market adhered to BIS standards. The QCO has not only provided Indian children safe, high-quality toys, but has also increased their exports by 60% in 2022-23 compared with 2018-19.
Several quality norms have been enforced on consumer durables and other products used in households. These include smart meters, bolts, nuts and fasteners, ceiling fans, fire extinguishers, cookware, utensils, water bottles, domestic gas stoves for use with Piped Natural Gas, wood-based boards, insulated flask, and insulated containers, among others.
The government consults all stakeholders, including industry representatives to make sure their feedback, technical inputs and practical suggestions are considered before implementing QCOs. Special care is taken to make sure that the interest of micro and small units is protected by giving them longer transition period. The government is always ready to help industry become more competitive and support manufacturers who want to upgrade quality.
Quality Governance, Quality Products
The drive to upgrade products to global standards is a subset of the Prime Minister’s broader vision to improve the quality of life for his family of 140 crore Indians. He has responded to their aspirations with a series of decisive steps to provide basic necessities such as roti, kapdaaurmakaan along with healthcare, and superior infrastructure. His compassionate, corruption-free governance has accelerated growth, moderated inflation and made India sparkle globally. About 13.5 crore people have moved out of poverty in five years.
People have responded to the PM’s high-quality governance with their vote in recent assembly elections. This has a strong message for Indian manufacturers. When people make a selection — with their vote or their wallet – they choose top quality. As Philip Crosby, author of ‘Quality is Free’ once said: “If you’re out of quality, you’re out of business.”
The writer is Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution and Textiles