|Monday, 21 March, 2016, 08 : 00 AM [IST]|
|Ashwani Maindola, New Delhi|
|The new BIS Bill was passed by Parliament. It would help in strengthening the standardisation of products and services that have direct consequences on health, safety and environment. Under the new BIS Act, standards certification for products and services concerning health, safety, and environment were to be made mandatory.
The new BIS Bill also provides compensation to the consumers if the goods and services do not conform to the standards. Further, self-declaration of conformity of the standards introduced along with stringent penalty provisions for violation for ease of doing business in the Bureau of Indian Standards Bill, 2016, that was passed by Parliament recently.
The Bill positions the Bureau of Indian Standards as the National Standards Body, according to department of consumer affairs. Further, according to the officials of the Bureau of Indian Standards, the rules and regulations with respect to food articles, packaged, including water, and FSS Act will prevail.
According to the ministry, this is a major step forward in ensuring quality products and services in the country. The provisions in new Bureau of Indian Standards Bill, will promote a culture of quality of products and services through mandatory certification and also through voluntary compliance of Indian standards.
The Bill was passed by Rajya Sabha on March 9 after getting the nod of Lok Sabha on December 3, 2015. The Bill gives powers to the government to bring any article, process or service, which it considers necessary from point of view of health, safety, environment, prevention of deceptive practices, security and so on under the mandatory certification regime.
The Act provides consumers the right to get quality products and will also help in preventing import of sub-standard products. Further in order to supplement ease of doing business by limiting unnecessary field inspections, the Bill has provisions for self-declaration of conformity of the Indian Standards for certain categories.
Simultaneously stringent penalty provisions have been made for violation of compliance to the standards which include imprisonment up to two years or with fine up to 10 times of the value of goods produced or sold, or with both. As per provisions of the Bill, BIS can now order recall of products, not conforming to the standards, in addition to cancellation of the licence of the manufacturer.
BIS can also order compensation to the consumers in case goods and services do not conform to the standards. As the service sector in the country has grown and become major part of the economy, so to ensure quality of services such as health services, and education services, now services and systems have also been included under the standardisation regime in addition to articles and processes, says the department of consumer affairs in a statement.