The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) likely to be attached with department of commerce


NEW DELHI: The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), which is increasingly being involved in prescribing quality norms for imports, may be shifted to the ministry of commerce and industry from the department of consumer affairs, official sources said.

Officials are preparing a note for the Committee of Secretaries to take the proposal forward, they said.

“BIS is likely to be attached with department of commerce as the national standard body has to function in close coordination with commerce ministry specially for making standards and quality norms for imported items,” said a senior consumer affairs ministry official.


The commerce and industry ministry had proposed such a move earlier also. “But former consumer affairs minister late Ram Vilas Paswan never showed interest in it. Now that both the ministries are under cabinet minister Piyush Goyal, the proposal is likely to take shape fast,” the official said.

The commerce ministry argues that since BIS is related to framing quality standards for goods services and items which broadly deal with commerce ministry, the department should be attached with commerce ministry.

“We have assigned BIS for framing mandatory quality standards for 371imported items to imports of inferior quality. It will be better if BIS works closely with our ministry,” said an official.

The consumer affairs ministry had earlier argued that BIS should not be shifted because it deals with general consumers and looks into related issues. “BIS has to deal with consumer complains. So it will be appropriate if it is attached with consumer affairs,” a consumer affairs official argued.

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