‘Regulations, certification major challenges for India’s exports’
Amid the continuous exports slowdown, engineering goods exporters on Friday held a brain-storming session with Commerce Ministry officials and said issues related to product certification and quality standards are major challenges that hamper their competitiveness in the global market. The session, which is seen as a pilot phase of government-industry interaction programme to cover all engineering clusters, was held in Faridabad by the National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies (NABCB) and the Quality Council of India (QCI) under the aegis of Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC) India and the Ministry of Commerce. Speaking at the session, EEPC India Executive Director and Secretary Bhaskar Sarkar said that engineering manufacturer-exporters have to upgrade their standards to the next level, not only to maintain their market shares but also to make new forays. Referring to EEPC analysis on major export destinations for India-made engineering goods like USA and Europe, Sarkar pointed out that stiffer technical regulations and standards in these countries are partially blocking the growth of Indian export sectors. Therefore, India needs an increasing preparedness to face the challenges of an overall upgraded standards and regulations globally, he noted. A senior official from the Department of Commerce urged the industry to be aware of the need to comply with the international standards and technical regulations. Also, they need to be aware of voluntary standards, as for many products the buyers also need quality assurance in terms of self-compliance. The industry should know what caution it must exercise while using the services of accredited bodies or getting systems certification, he added. He also said that products and services exported from India must meet international standards and country specific technical regulations in order to increase exports’, while also urging the industry to gear up for gaining more market share in international markets. According to former Chairman of EPPC India R P Jhalani, major products like iron and steel, electrical machinery, industrial machinery etc. suffer from lack of standards harmonization. Therefore, there is a need for creation of more testing labs and certification bodies and harmonization of Indian standards with international ones. The cumulative value of engineering exports during April-December 2015-16 fell by over 14.9% to $45.32 billion from $53.26 billion recorded during the same period last year.
January 22, 2015 | 5:21pm IST.