The government has included small footwear units in the quality control order (QCO) for the sector and given them six months to implement the norms, while not giving any relaxation in the deadline of July 1 for larger manufacturers.
“We have decided that the quality control orders (QCCs) will be implemented from July 1. It was decided not to do any changes in that. No extension will be given and everybody has agreed to that,” Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal said after the meeting of the government with the leather sector.
The industry was seeking an extension of the July 1 deadline by a year.
It was also decided at the meeting to give six months to small industries that have an annual turnover of up to Rs 50 crore and investment of up to Rs 10 crore for complying with the order and accordingly, it will come into force for them from January 1, 2024.
Micro units with an annual turnover of less than Rs 5 crore will have to follow these norms from July 1, 2024.
To start with, OCOs will cover 24 products. Goyal said the QCOs would help in increasing the production of quality footwear, and exports and establishing Indian brands in the global markets.
In the leather and footwear sector, the government issued three mandatory quality orders in October 2020. Out of these three, one on protective footwear has already been implemented from January 2022. The remaining two would come into force from July 1 this year.
According to the ‘Footwear Made from Leather and Other Materials (Quality Control) Order, 2022’, which will come into force from July 1, manufacturers have to modify their processes to comply with the new standards.
This includes establishing testing laboratories, obtaining BIS licenses, and adhering to the rules for issuing the ISI mark.
Goyal said that there is no mandatory rule for the industry to set up their own testing facilities and the Bureau of Indian Standards would set them up across the country.
The OCOs for sports shoes are being framed and are likely to be implemented by January 2024.
Goyal asked the industry to work with the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) to formulate standards for products that are presently not covered under these standards so that these can also be brought under QCOs after 6 months of the notification of these standards.