The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, has recently announced an 80% concession on certification/marking fee for micro scale units. This move has been welcomed by the small and medium scale business owners who are now looking forward to getting certified and marked by BIS.

BIS is a national body that sets quality standards for goods and services. Any business that meets the stipulated standards is certified and marked by BIS. The BIS certification/marking is a mark of quality that reassures consumers that the product they are buying is of high quality and meets their safety and performance standards. However, the certification/marking process involves paying a fee to BIS, which can be quite high for small businesses.

The fee for BIS certification/marking depends on the size of the business and the number of products for which certification/marking is required. Until now, small businesses have been hesitant to apply for BIS certification/marking due to the hefty fee. However, the recent announcement by BIS to provide an 80% concession on certification/marking fee for micro scale units has come as a huge relief for small businesses across the country.

This move is expected to boost the number of small businesses seeking BIS certification/marking, which would ultimately result in higher quality standards and increased consumer confidence in locally made products. Micro scale units in India are defined as businesses with an investment of up to Rs.1 crore and an annual turnover of up to Rs.5 crore. With the 80% concession on certification/marking fee, these businesses can now save a substantial amount of money, making it easier for them to afford BIS certification/marking.

The announcement has been welcomed by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) which has stated that it will help the small and medium scale businesses to access and adopt the latest technologies and quality standards to enhance product quality and competitiveness. It is expected to promote a culture of quality consciousness among micro-scale businesses and lead to the growth of the sector in the country.

The 80% concession on certification/marking fee is not the only initiative launched by BIS to help small businesses in India. In March 2021, BIS had launched the Self-Declaration Scheme, which allows micro and small businesses to self-declare conformity to Indian standards for certain products without undergoing the certification process. This scheme also aims to reduce the compliance burden on small businesses.

BIS has been actively working to promote the adoption of quality standards among small businesses in India. In addition to offering concessions and launching schemes, BIS has also been organizing training and awareness programs for small businesses to understand the importance and benefits of quality standards. BIS has also launched the ‘Saksham’ program to provide technical assistance and hand-holding support to small businesses to help them meet the quality standards set by BIS.

The need for quality standards has become even more crucial in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Consumers are more cautious about the products they use, and demand for high-quality, reliable products has increased. BIS certification/marking reassures consumers that a product meets the required quality standards and is safe to use. Therefore, small businesses need to adopt quality standards to remain competitive and meet the growing demand for quality products.

In conclusion, the announcement by BIS providing an 80% concession on certification/marking fee for micro scale units is a welcome move that will significantly benefit small businesses in India. By reducing the financial burden of certification/marking, it will encourage more small businesses to adopt quality standards, leading to higher quality products and increased consumer confidence. While BIS’s initiatives to support small businesses are commendable, there is a need for continued efforts to promote the adoption of quality standards among small businesses in India.