A group of footwear manufacturers from 13 Indian states held a protest against the central government’s plan to implement Bureau of Indian Standards regulations on footwear, claiming that it will harm the business of micro, small, and medium enterprises.
“The standards are set without considering the manufacturing/production process, types of raw materials used, and categories of footwear products,” said the All India MSME Footwear Council’s national chairman VKC Razak in a press release. “This makes the implementation of BIS standards unrealistic.”
The All India MSME Footwear Council organised protests in Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, and Kerala. The in-person protests were accompanied by online activity across social media.
The Department of the Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade has stated that MSME footwear manufacturing units will be exempt from the mandatory BIS norms. However, according to the All India MSME Footwear Council, some circulars from the BIS do not acknowledge this which has caused confusion for MSMEs.
“None of these have been materialised yet as concerned offices are yet to suggest suitable amendments in the rules,” said the All India MSME Footwear Council’s general convenor Dharmender Narula. “The situation is leading to an impasse, as there are only three months left to implement BIS norms for all kinds of footwear.”
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