Indian Stainless Steel Development Association (ISSDA), India’s apex stainless steel industry body, has urged Ministry of Steel for implementing Quality Control Order (QCO) for stainless steel flat products which was notified in June 2016. The QCO, till date has been deferred twice earlier. ISSDA now calls for immediate implementation of the stainless steel QCO to safeguard the interest of the consumers.
Mr K.K Pahuja, President-ISSDA said that, on both the occasions, the deferment of the stainless steel QCO was based on the plea that enough number of domestic as well as foreign manufacturers had not been able to get the required BIS certification. It is now pertinent to note that over 18 licenses have been issued to domestic producers for the three IS standards on stainless steel and around 4-5 foreign manufacturers have also received clearances from BIS with respect to the samples submitted for testing.
Moreover, there was also an apprehension that the implementation of the stainless steel QCO would hurt supplies to downstream industries. It must be noted that the QCO covers only 25 grades of stainless steel falling under the three IS standards, namely IS 6911, IS 5522 and IS 15997. All these grades are widely manufactured in India and the implementation of the QCO would not affect supplies in any manner as both domestic and foreign manufacturers have the licenses for these grades. For those grades which are not included in the BIS standards, the user is free to import such grades. This implies that supplies of stainless steel to the domestic users will not get affected in any way because of the implementation of the QCO.
Any apprehensions that non availability of products due to QCO would bring the downstream industry to a standstill are totally inappropriate. The three standards IS 6911, IS 5522 and IS 15997 were prepared in collaboration with the technical inputs from the industry and the BIS and the grades covered in these standards are commonly produced by the domestic industry and a number of players have already got the license. Further, some foreign manufacturers have also received clearances from BIS for these grades.
Ministry of Steel has taken a very progressive step on QCO for stainless steel products, which is also aligned to ‘Zero Defect Zero Effect’ policy of the Government. Therefore, in the interest of domestic consumers, the stainless-steel products Quality Control Order must be implemented on the current notified date of 7th February 2017, without any further delay.