Govt rolls out mandatory quality norms for asbestos cement products

The government has issued mandatory quality norms for asbestos or fiber cement-based products to curb the import of sub-standard goods and boost domestic manufacturing.

A notification 'Asbestos or Fibre Cement based Products (Quality Control) Order, 2024 ' was issued in this regard by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) on March 6 this year.

Under these orders, items cannot be produced, sold, traded, imported and stocked unless they bear the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) mark.

"It shall come into force on the expiry of six months from the date of publication of this notification in the Official Gazette," the DPIIT notification said.

To safeguard the domestic small/micro industries and ensure smooth implementation of the QCO and ease of doing business, relaxations have been granted to small/micro industries as regards to timeliness. An additional nine months have been given to small industries and an additional 12 months to micro industries to meet the norms.

Violation of the provision of the BIS Act can attract imprisonment of up to two years or a fine of at least Rs 2 lakh for the first offense.

Various initiatives, including the development of QCO, are being undertaken by the department to develop quality sensitisation among users and manufacturers alike.

Mandatory QCOs help curb the import of sub-standard products, prevent unfair trade practices and ensure the safety and well-being of consumers as well as the environment.

Earlier, such orders have been issued for several goods, including smart meters, welding rods and electrodes, cookware and utensils, fire extinguishers, electric ceiling fans and domestic gas stoves.