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DGFT for bringing more items under mandatory quality control

Our Bureau

New Delhi. April 22

THE Indian industry and other stakeholders should insist and work towards getting more items under the `mandatory quality control' norm, the Director General of Foreign Trade, Mr L. Mansingh, has said.

So far, only 118 items are subjected to `mandatory quality control' norm, implying that imports of any of these items need to conform to the quality norms prescribed by Indian authorities for similar products in the domestic market.

``We have to think of consumer interest, especially when there are no quantitative restrictions. The mandatory quality control is only there for 118 items. We (India) are wide open for flood of sub-standard products,'' Mr Mansingh said at a seminar on `Exporting successfully' organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (Northern Region).

He pointed out that a mandatory quality control would not only provide protection to the domestic industry but also take care of consumer interest.

The DGFT also advised the exporting community to play the game by its rules. ``We have been liberalising to a large extent. But you must remember that more liberalisation is possible only when you play by the rules of the game. There is a limit to which we can accept liberalisation, beyond which we may have to step in,'' Mr Mansingh said.

Citing the case of advance licences, he said that there have been instances where goods have been imported under advance licences and diverted to the domestic market. ``The Revenue Department has pointed out to us that such misuse is leading to leakage of revenues for the exchequer,'' he said.

He also suggested that the exporters must desist from taking defensive positions. ``Our outlook and mindset has to undergo a change if we have to make a mark in the competitive international markets. Unfortunately, in India, our first reaction to anything is defensive. Even now, in exports we believe that catering to the lower end of the market through our low cost advantage would alone give us desired results. This is a wrong impression,'' he said.

On China, Mr Mansingh held that the notion that Chinese imports would swamp the country was also misplaced.

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