Government to significantly ramp up focus on quality; reasonably strict but practical quality standards to be brought in on many more products to strengthen manufacturing competitiveness and to protect consumers : Shri Piyush Goyal

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Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Textiles, Shri Piyush Goyal said that the government, over the next two or three years, hoped to significantly ramp up focus on quality by bringing in reasonably strict and compulsary but practical quality standards on many more products so that Indian manufacturing is able to withstand irrational competition, increase the scale of production and become more competitive. He was addressing the inaugural session of Massmerize 2023 in New Delhi today. 

The Minister said that as long as we do not recognize the importance of quality in our country, we will not be able to stop this influx of low quality products. ‘Towards that end we in the government are working to introduce quality standards in a much bigger way. We have now almost four times the number of quality control orders implemented in the last few years than what we had 10 years ago.

Shri Goyal asked manufacturers, FMCG providers and the consumers to work collectively to revive Indian domestic manufacturing at scale, with high quality and at competitive prices, so that India once again provides a large amount of jobs, work opportunities, business opportunities, and meets the aspirations of 1.4 billion people. 

The Minister opined that the FMCG sector will truly be a driver of economic growth and that moving forward, India will be an important consumer market. He called for the creation and strengthening of a virtuous circle with massive amounts of investment and focus both on the public sector and the private sector to create the necessary building blocks or infrastructure to help the Indian economy grow rapidly. He called for renewed investments in infrastructure, in manufacturing, in innovation, in R&D and in quality. 

Shri Goyal observed that developed economies had become developed by ensuring significant internationalization of their economies, by engaging with the world in a bigger way, by focusing on scale, so that they can be more competitive, by building their domestic logistics ecosystem, where infrastructure investments play an important role, by focusing their energies on providing what the consumer really wished for, good high quality products at competitive prices and in the current context, sustainable goods. Shri Goyal underscored that sustainability would drive demand in the days ahead. He noted that the government had been focusing relentlessly on sustainability accross sectors 

The Minister noted that the consumer industry in India, FMCGs and other such products have been victims of indiscriminate low quality imports, because of which India has suffered and Indians have suffered. He said that though India had liberalized it’s economy and a number of foreign companies and foreign suppliers did come into the country with some of them manufacturing in India, most of them had imported goods into India. Shri Goyal said that it should have been a period where quality Indian manufacturing at scale had to be strengthened. ‘I think we lost out by allowing a lot of indiscriminate, low quality, low cost goods coming into the country’ he lamented. 

Shri Goyal pointed out that India’s imports from a certain geography had widened the trade deficit enormously and contributed to weakening domestic manufacturing. He observed that this dependence on imports created a set of business persons who met the consumer demand, but through pricing, which was often just meant to undercut all domestic manufacturing, sometimes predatory, thus harming Indian manufacturing. 

‘The Government over the last few years, focused its energies on bringing back the building blocks to get manufacturing into India again and it’s going to be a long haul’, he added. 

The Minister said that efforts, coupled with significant investments earmarked in the budget in the last three or four years will be able to make Indian manufacturing much much more competitive

The Minister referred to Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) and said that it would help our small retail survive the onslaught of large tech based e-commerce companies. ‘Our effort will be to encourage more and more startups and small companies even at the local level, small retail the mom and pop stores integrated into the e- commerce ecosystem. And just like UPI was able to democratize payment systems we do hope that ONDC will democratize the e-commerce ecosystem and take its benefits to the people at large’, Shri Goyal said.  

Shri Goyal said that in India’s journey of growth, the retail sector and the FMCG sector, will have a huge role to play. He stressed that going forward consumption will increase significantly and added that consumption will be driven by demand for good quality products made in a sustainable way, delivered smartly. He expressed confidence that Indian industry will absorb the standards of quality that the consumer really deserves and desires.  

He stressed on the importance of buying products which ultimately provided jobs, which will not strengthen countries which are inimical to India’s interests, but will strengthen India’s economy, will have more people become consumers and will help boost the virtuous cycle that of investments in India, money spent in India, leading to jobs in India, incomes for the people of India, who then become consumers. ‘It is this virtuous cycle is what will make India a developed country, a prosperous country, a country where 1.4 billion people lead prosperous lives’ he added.

He also asked consumers to foster respect for domestic products and Indian producers. He asked organizations like FICCI to take this message of respect for Indian products, respect for Indian ecosystem, respect for the opportunities that consumers can provide for young Indian talent to provide goods and services in India to all parts of the country. 



Source PIB