Ministry of steel has extended the deadline for certification of steel products to three months from April 23rd as the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has shut operations and closed laboratories due to the ongoing lockdown and travel ban.
“In pursuance to the notification of the steel and steel products order 2000, the date of enforcement of the following Indian standards is hereby extended by three months beyond 23rd April,” the order from the ministry said.
Secondary and small scale steel industry bodies supplying and purchasing ferro alloys were seeking clarity from the ministry of steel on the extension of dates for newly imposed standardisation rules on steel alloys.
The process doesn’t come under essential services, we have to shut operations and even our laboratories are closed, ” said a BIS spokesperson.
“Some steel products that are procured from outside India needs to come under compulsory certification, for which we need to travel, which is not happening for sometime,” he added.
However, the industry bodies are still doubtful about the extension, as it might need at least a year to revive.
“The 3 months extension period is not enough as BIS officials won’t be able to visit foreign plants for next 8-10 months due to lockdown around the world and even after the lockdown there will be restrictions,” said Siddharth Bothra, CEO, IQ Minerals & Metals.
BIS official’s visit is part of the process as per guidelines, and to complete the certification process it takes minimum of 8 months, added Bothra.
Among the other products listed, Ferro Silicon, Ferro Nickel and hot rolled steel strips are imported by the steel majors in India.
India imports around 300,000 tonnes of Ferro Silicon from various countries like Bhutan, Norway and China every year and out of which only 1/3 rd is manufactured in India. Economic Times reported a story earlier.