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18/04/2017 03:35pm

Stainless-steel MSMEs hit hard as mandatory BIS certification maintained

image Stainless-steel MSMEs hit hard as mandatory BIS certification maintained

New Delhi, Apr 18 (KNN) The Government last year issued mandatory orders for steel manufacturing industries in India to import raw material that comply with the minimum standards set by  the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). This move has  impacted the stainless steel MSMEs quite severely.

Talking to KNN, Jitendra Shah, President of Metal and Stainless Steel Merchant`s Association said that the industry initially welcomed the decision but the implementation and the consequences that followed are very alarming for the industry. “The BIS compliance was introduced to raise the standards of the steel in the country, but over the course of one year since its implementation, the steel manufacturers are suffering badly," he said.

Explaining the situation, Shah said that as of now there are only four companies that have been granted the BIS certification. This is giving rise to the monopoly. Earlier we were able to obtain the raw material within 40-45 days. But now the companies are asking for at least 5 months and are demanding advance payment, for MSMEs it is difficult to make advance payments.

Highlighting on the problems further he said that despite the global prices coming down, the big players who could obtain the BIS certificate such as the Jindals’ have increased the price instead of reducing it. “Since they know that the manufacturer doesn’t have any other options but to buy the material from the BIS certified companies, the manufacturer is charged exorbitant rates," he added.

Many of the MSMEs have already shut because they are not able to survive the scenario. This has resulted in rising unemployment as the steel manufacturing industry employs a good amount of labour.

Shah said that his association has approached the Steel Ministry many times and has explained the situation to them, but their meetings didn’t bring any positive result so far.

“The BIS and its implementation have resulted in the total opposite of PM’s Make in India. Earlier we used to import the raw materials from countries like Germany and then make products in India and sell it to the world. But because of the BIS, many of the foreign suppliers don’t meet the standards set by the BIS, though they do comply with the international standards. As a result stainless steel industry is now importing finished products and selling it in the market by changing the tag” he further added. (KNN/ DA)

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