By Srabani Sen
Tuesday, April 15, 2014: Further to the Electronics and IT Goods (Requirement for Compulsory Registration) Order, 2012, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) now wants the font size of the registration information to be ½ or ¼ the size of the brand name. The order mandates the registration of electronic products in 15 identified categories, so that they meet specified safety standards.
This tightening of norms by BIS has not been taken in the right spirit by the industry or the associations linked to it. They have joined hands to ask the government to revoke the order, as they feel that it will affect the supply of electronic goods, create shortages in the market and increase the prices of the products.
A few initial difficulties are to be expected with any change. However, this change aims to increase the quality of standards. With this BIS order, the industry may have to spend a little on new tools and dyes, but will this move not help to control the menace of the grey market?
It appears that the industry is unclear about the intentions of BIS—as to why the electronics and IT manufacturers are being targeted, while all other segments continue with normal paper labelling. Hence, the BIS must educate the industry and the associations about the benefits of these new norms. The Bureau must take them into confidence before suddenly passing any new orders affecting the industry.
Associations, too, can play a different role instead of being up in arms against every government order. For instance, they could find out the benefits of such government moves and orders, and then educate the industry. A recent study has found that 74 per cent of the companies in one particular consumer segment in India do not label their products in a proper manner.
Earlier, in relation to the Requirement for Compulsory Registration norms, the government had decided to label firms that do not comply with the safety standards mandated by BIS for electronic products as ‘non-serious’. It had also planned to levy a penalty on such manufacturers, the quantum of which is yet to be decided.