The proposed Steel and Steel Products (Quality Control) Order mandates several steel products to have a Bureau of Indian Standards(BIS) registration. Currently, steel products imported into India are subjected to globally accepted inspection standards, which ensure high quality and required compliance. This process has been successfully followed for over four decades without compromising the quality of steel. The government states that this new order is intended primarily to control the quality of steel entering India.
The Bombay Iron Merchant Association (BIMA), Federation of Associations of Maharashtra (FAM) and FII oppose the proposed quality control order.
“The SMEs and the MSMEs have a relatively lesser requirement and are highly dependent on local steel merchants for their raw materials. These local traders, who source from international markets at cheaper prices of quality, provide steel on credit, with simple terms. If the proposed order is passed, the quantity of steel imports will be close to nil; mainly because no foreign company would agree to undergo the tedious BIS registration procedure, especially for orders of small quantities,” points Mohan Gurnani, President of FAM.
The proposed process of registration would require 10-12 months and would affect imports. The associations pointed to the monopoly that would ensue for local producers.