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Posted at: Jun 17, 2019, 7:06 AM; last updated: Jun 17, 2019, 7:06 AM (IST)

Kitchen appliance makers to shut down ops in Baddi

Ambika Sharma

Tribune News Service

Solan, June 16

Kitchen appliance manufacturing units, facing closure from May 1, have failed to get any extension from the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for obtaining the mandatory quality control certification.

Out of the 35 kitchen manufacturers, barely six had obtained the mandatory certification, while not even one maker of hand blenders had it.

Efforts to seek extension from various quarters have not yielded any result. Since the Prime Minister’s Grievance Portal has not incorporated the Consumer Affairs Ministry, a complaint was uploaded through it to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs yesterday by some manufacturers.

“Another complaint was sent to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry as the December 2018 notification was issued by it. But since the BIS falls under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, the application has not been entertained,” a manufacturer in Baddi said.

The manufacturers are now banking on the June 19 emergency meeting to be held in Delhi, where BIS officials and the former will ponder over the issue. They will discuss the pros and cons of the issue as the standards notified for hand blenders and juicer mixers have not been revised since decades.

Since April to September is the prime season for selling these products, the manufacturers are losing a major chunk of their business due to the stalemate.

Though they had somehow managed to pay wages to the workers for May, it is getting difficult to retain workers without work any further. “It will cause laying off of thousands of workers,” said Ajay Kumar, a senior official of one such unit in Baddi.

The BIS had brought the kitchen appliances under the ambit of quality control as per a notification issued in December 2018 and a six-month period was granted to the units to fulfil this mandate. The process involved sample submission, testing of products through the BIS-approved labs, site inspection and issuance of licences, which in itself is cumbersome.

Not only were the BIS-approved labs flooded with such requests in the region, but each unit had to invest a sizeable time in seeking its report. After completion of these formalities a manufacturer has to upload an application on the ministry’s website and wait for the inspection of his unit.

The manufacturers of hand blenders are the worst affected as the BIS released the scheme of testing and inspection on May 1, a day after the last date for obtaining license. This has virtually put on hold the manufacturing of hand blenders in the state and the fear of facing heavy losses is looming large on the industry.

Manufacturers pin hopes on June 19 meeting

  • Manufacturers are now banking on the June 19 emergency meeting to be held in Delhi, where Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) officials and the former will ponder over the issue. 
  • The BIS had brought the kitchen appliances under the ambit of quality control as per a notification issued in December 2018 and a six-month period was granted to the units to get the quality control certification.
  • The process involved sample submission, testing of products through the BIS-approved labs, site inspection and issuance of licences.

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