Thursday, 24 May 2012 04:50




Head Office

Bureau of Indian Standards


1 April, 1987

Preparation and Implementation of standards, operations of certification schemes, organizations and management for testing laboratories, creating consumer awareness.

The department of Food and Public Distribution is responsible for procurement of food items which includes its storage, transportation and delivery to distributors. The Department of Consumer Affairs take care of prices, availability, consumer movement and statutory bodies related to food:

The Essential Commodities Act, 1955: Provides assurance of easy availability of commodities and protection against exploitation. The enforcement of the provisions of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 lies with the State Governments and UT Administrations. Initially the number of essential commodities were 70 in1989 is reduced to 7 at present. For the prevention of black marketing and maintain continuous supply of essential commodities Essential Commodities Act, 1980 is being implemented by the State Governments / UTs.

The consumer co-operative is divided into four tier with National Co-operative Consumer Federation of India Ltd., (NCCF) on the top followed by consumer cooperative stores at primary stores and village level primary Agricultural Credit Societies and Marketing Societies. Thirty State Co-operative Consumers Organizations are affiliated to the NCCF. The NCCF also has a Consultancy and Promotional Cell for strengthening consumer co-operative societies engaged in the retailing activities.

The NCCF with its Head Office at New Delhi, has 34 branches  /sub-branches located in various parts of the country.

Forward Markets Commission (FMC) is a statutory body formed under Forward Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1952 which regulates forward market in commodities and, recommends for general improvement of the functioning of forward markets in the country. At present, there are 24 exchanges including three ‘national level’ exchanges which have been recognised for conducting futures / forward trading in India and all the commodities have been permitted for trading. During the current year “Thermal Coal” and “Carbon Credit” have also been allowed to be traded on recognized Commodity Exchanges. The commodity futures market is regulated under the provisions of the Forward Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1952 (FCR Act).

Consumer Protection Act, 1986: Applies to all goods and services unless specially exempted by the Central Government, in all sectors whether Private, Public or Co-operative. As per the Act, the consumer protection councils were formed at Central, State and District levels to promote and protect the consumer rights which are:

(i) Right to Safety,

(ii) Right to Information

(iii) Right to Choose,

(iv) Right to be Heard,

(v) Right to Seek Redressal; and

(vi) Right to Consumer Education.

The consumer Awareness Scheme for the 11th Plan amounting to total of Rs. 4,009 crores has been approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on 24th Jan. 08. The slogan “Jago Grahak Jago” has now become a household name as a result of publicity campaign undertaken in the last 3 years. As part of the Consumer Awareness Scheme, the rural and remote areas have been given top priority.

Every year 24th December is celebrated as National Consumer Day commemorating the coming into effect the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. The theme for National Consumer day in 2007 was ‘Enlightened Consumer is the Empowered Consumer.’

The Department has collaborated with Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) for providing  technical support regarding production and development of publicity material. Under the GTZ Project, advertisement  spots pertaining to electronic media on the areas of MRP and consumer awareness regarding unhealthy trade practices were produced.

Creation of Consumer Welfare Funds (CWF) in States / UTs: Administrations have Created their own Consumer Welfare Funds. For strengthening financial support, the ratio of amount of seed money to be provided to the States/UTs has been increased from 1:10 to 50:50 (Centre : State). This ratio has further been enhanced to 90 : 10 in the case of 13 special category States as per decision taken in the 39th CWF Standing Committee meeting. So far, the State level Consumer Welfare Funds have been created in the States of Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Odisha, Karnataka, Tripura, Sikkim, Maharashtra, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Haryana, Mizoram and Uttaranchal.

Consumer Clubs: This scheme was launched in 2002. There is provision for one consumer club in each Middle / High / Higher Secondary School / College affiliated to a government recognized Board / University. A grant of Rs. 10,000 per consumer club is admissible under this scheme.

A National Consumer Helpline project, launched on 15th March, 05, in co-ordination with Delhi University, Department of Commerce. Consumers who need counselling for problems that they face as consumers of telecom, courier, banking, insurance, financial services, etc. from all over the country can dial toll-free number 1800-11-4000. The Helpline was launched on 15th March, 2005, i.e., World Consumer Rights Day.

A Consumer Online Research and Empowerment (CORE): Centre has been launched formally on 15th March, 05 in collaboration with Consumer Co-ordination Council (CCC) with the aim to provide the most scientific and effective system of collection and dissemination of consumer related information, e-counselling and mediation for consumer problems.

Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is a national standards body formed on 1st April, 1987 and is responsible for preparation and implementation of standards, operation of certification schemes both for products and systems, organization and management of testing laboratories, creating consumer awareness and maintaining close liaison on with international standards bodies. As on 31st March, 2008 18424 Standards formulated by BIS, are in force covering important segments of economy, which help the industry in upgrading the quality of their goods and services. BIS formulates need-based Indian Standards in line with the national priorities as a time-bound programme.

BIS Product Certification Scheme is voluntary in nature and is mandatory for 68 items are milk powder, packaged drinking water, LPG cylinders, oil pressure stoves, clinical thermometers etc.  As on 31st March, 2008, 20025 certification marks licences are in operation under the Scheme, covering about 1000 different items ranging from food products to electronics. To support the activities of product certification, BIS has a chain of 8 laboratories.

All foreign manufacturers of products who intend to export to India are required to obtain a BIS product certification licence. Towards this, BIS launched its Product Certification Scheme for overseas manufacturers in the year 1999. Further, BIS has taken new initiatives like simplification of procedure for grant of licence, basically to reduce the procedural time. This has yielded some encouraging results.

Hallmarking of Gold Jewellery started in April, 2000 on voluntary basis under BIS Act 1986 with aim to protect the consumer’s interest and providing third party assurance to consumers on the purity of gold. The list of hallmarked jewellers with BIS licence and BIS recognized hallmarking centres has been hosted on BIS website. Under a similar scheme of Hallmarking of Silver, 405 licences have been granted since its launch in October 2005.

BIS runs other important systems certification schemes under the Management Systems Certification. Under Quality Management System Certification Scheme (QMSCS), which was launched in September 1991, BIS Quality Management System Certification has been accredited by Raad voor Accreditatie (RvA) Netherlands for 23 major economic activities.

Occupational Health & Safety Management System (OH&SMS) Certification Scheme was launched in January, 2003. Among the new Schemes, BIS has launched public Service Delivery Management Systems as per IS 15700 – 2005 “Quality Management Systems – Requirements for Service Quality by Public Service Organizations,”  in order to ensure minimum standards of service delivery in all sectors pertaining to or influenced by the government.

Since its inception in 1947, the then ISI and now BIS has been an active member of international organizations namely, ISO and International Electronical Commission (IEC). BIS represents India as Member body in ISO and IEC. As member of ISO, BIS also takes active part in the development of International Standards with a view to protect the interests of Indian trade & industry. It has signed MoU / MRA with 16 countries / organizations including ISO and American National Standards Institute (ANS) of USA to this effect.

Consumer Protection: To meet with the growing expectations of consumers in the country, BIS has established a separate department with the mandatory aim of providing consumer protection and welfare and dealing with public grievances. This department maintains liaison with Central Consumer Protection Council and consumer associations and coordinates with the Ministry of Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution on consumer issues. A well-defined procedure has been established for handling complaints. The complaints can also be lodged on line, and are monitored regularly.

Rajiv Gandhi National Quality Award was instituted by the BIS with an objective to encourage manufacturers and service organizations to strive for excellence, in 1991. The assessment for this award is made on the basis of parameters, such as, Leadership, Policies objectives and Strategies; Human Resources Management; Resources; Processes; Consumer Focus; Employees’ Satisfaction; Business Results and Impact on Environment and Society.

BIS had set up a single window Information & SSI Facilitation Cell at its headquarters in New Delhi which became operational since 1997 with the aim of providing variety of information/assistance. A number of entrepreneurs, consumers and professionals visit this centre.

To impart training to technical and management personnel from industry, consumer organizations, public sector undertakings, government bodies and developing countries, BIS has established, the National Institute of Training for Standardization (NITS) at NOIDA (U.P.).

NITS conducts training on Quality Management Systems as per IS/ISO 9001, Environment Management Systems as per IS/ISO 14001, Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems as per IS 18001, Food Safety Management Systems as per IS/ISO 22000, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) and Laboratory Management Systems as per IS/ISO/IEC 17025. It also conducts International Training Programmes in Standardization and Quality Systems and on Management systems for developing countries of Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America every year since 1968.

BIS Technical Library is a national resource centre for information on standards and related matters and meets the needs of industry, trade, government, researchers and consumers. It is the largest library of standards in the South Asian Region, covering a floor area of 1000 square meters. The Bureau’s Library system comprises the Headquarters’ Library (New Delhi) and four regional Office Libraries at Mumbai, Kolkata, Chandigarh and Chennai. BIS has also been designated as WTO/TBT Enquiry Point by the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India under the Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement of World Trade Organization.

Wheat-based Nutrition Programme

The Scheme is implemented by the Department of Women and Child Development. The foodgrains allotted under this Scheme are utilized by the States / UTs under Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) for providing nutritious / energy food to children below 6 years of age and expectant/lactating women.

Annapurna Scheme

Ministry of Rural Development launched this scheme in 2000-2001. Indigent senior citizens of 65 years of age or above who though eligible for old age pension under the National Old Age Pension Scheme (NOAPS) but are not getting the pension are covered under the Scheme. 10 kg of foodgrains per person per month are supplied free of cost under the scheme.

From 2002-2003, the scheme has been transferred to State Plan along with the National Social Assistance Programme comprising the National Old Age Pension Scheme and the National Family Benefit Scheme. The funds for the transferred scheme are being released by the Ministry of Finance as Additional Central Assistance (ACA) to the State Plan and the States have the requisite flexibility in the choice of beneficiaries and implementation of the Scheme. The implementation of the Scheme at the ground rests with the States / UTs.

Sampoorna Gramin Rozgar Yojana

The Ministry of Rural Development, which is the nodal Central Ministry for the programme, launched the Sampoorna Gramin Rozgar Yojana Scheme on 25th Sept., 01 for all the States/UTs for organizing various employment generation programmes.

Under the Scheme, 50 lakh tonnes of foodgrains are to be allotted to the States / UTs free of cost by Ministry of Rural Development. The Ministry of Rural Development will reimburse the cost of foodgrains at economic cost prevailing at the time. The Ministry of Rural Development has been authorized to communicate to FCI directly the allocations made to various State Governments under the scheme.

Special Component of Sampoorna Gramin Rozgar Yojana aims at extending support to the people affected by natural calamities in States / UTs. Foodgrains are released under the special component of SGRY by the Ministry of Rural Development, being the nodal Ministry for the Scheme, after the approval of Department of Food and Public Distribution.

Save Grain Campaign (SGC)

The Scheme is implemented through a network of 12 SGC offices in close collaboration with the State Governments and NGOs. The main objective of the scheme is to transfer the technical know-how developed by Indian Grain Storage Management and Research Institute (IGMRI) to the farmers for minimising the post-harvest losses in foodgrains. Under the scheme an assistance for purchasing the metal bins and other inputs @ Rs. 10,000 per nucleus village is provided to the farmers.


Indian Grain Storage Management and Research Institute (IGMRI), Hapur is engaged in the training and R&D work relating to grain storage management. The Institute has three field stations at Hyderabad, Jorhat and Ludhiana.

Vision 2015 on Food Processing Industries: Integrated strategy for promotion of agri business. The objective is to increase level of processing of perishable food from 6% to 20%, value addition from 20% to 35% and share in global food trade from 1.6% to 3%. The level of processing for fruits and vegetables is envisaged to increase from the present 2.2 % to 10% and 15% in 2010 and 2015 respectively.

An Integrated Food Law, i.e., Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 was notified on 24th August, 06. The Act enables in removing multiplicity of food laws and regulatory agencies and provide single window to food processing sector.

National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship & Management (NIFTEM) at Kundli (Haryana) will function as a knowledge centre in food processing. Certificate of Incorporation under the Companies Act 1956 has been obtained.

Meat Processing: Processing of meat products is licensed under Meat Food Products Order 1973. The total processing capacity in India is over 1 million MT per annum, of which 40-50% is utilized.

India exports more than 500,000 MT of meat of which major share is that of buffalo meat. Indian buffalo meat is witnessing strong demand in international markets due to its lean character and near organic nature. India is the 5th largest exporter of bovine meat in the world. Ministry of Food Processing Industries is providing financial assistance by way of grant-in-aid.

Dairy Processing: The Ministry of Food Processing Industries is promoting organized Dairy processing sector to accomplish upcoming demands of processed dairy products. India is the number one milk producing country in the world, maintaining the top position since 1988, World milk production is estimated at 613 million tonnes growing at a CAGR of 1.1%. Indian production stands at 91 million tonnes growing at a CAGR of 4%. Despite a higher growth rate, the per capita availability of milk in India (229 grams per day) is lower than the world average (285 grams per day). Buffalo milk is estimated to account for 57% of the total milk production in India.

Fish Processing: With its long coast line of over 8000 kms, 50600 sq. Kms continental shelf area and 2.2 million sq km of Exclusive Economic Zone, India is blessed with rich fishery resources. At present, there are over 369 freezing units with a daily processing capacity of 10266 tonnes out of which 150 units are approved for export to EU. Ministry of Food Processing Industries extends financial assistance for setting up / technology upgradation / modernization of fish processing units. During the year 2006-07 (upto December 2006) 17 fish processing units were assisted.

Grain Processing

The grain processing industries include milling of rice, wheat and pulses. Financial assistance has been provided for setting up / modernization / expansion of the units. During 2006-07 (upto December 2006), the Ministry sanctioned financial assistance for 32 rice milling, 13 flour milling, 62 edible oil milling and 13 pulse milling units.

Aerated Soft Drink

Soft drinks constitute the 3rd largest packaged food regularly consumed after packed tea and packed biscuits. The aerated soft drinks industry in India comprises over 100 plants across all states. It has attracted one of the highest foreign direct investments in the country. It has strong forward and backward linkages with glass, plastic, refrigeration, sugar and transportation industry. The installed capacity of sweetened / aerated water as on 01-01-2006 is reported to be 29.60 lakh tons per annum.

Packaged Drinking Water

There are 218 companies, which have been granted licence for manufacturing packaged drinking water and packaged natural mineral water. There has been a spurt in growth in the last 3 – 4 years, which can largely be attributed to a range of various packaged sizes to suit the consumers. 80% of the packaged water sale comes from the bulk containers (5 litres and above).

Alcoholic Beverages

India is the largest market for alcoholic beverages in the world. The demand for spirits and beer is estimated to be around 373 million cases. There are 12 joint venture companies having a licensed capacity of 33919 kilolitres per annum for production of grain based alcoholic beverages. 56 units are manufacturing beer under licence from the Government of India. The wine industry in India provides considerable opportunities for value addition and employment generation in the agro-processing sector.

National Test House

The National Test House (NTH) is a Government laboratory of national importance in the field of testing and evaluation of material and products of all engineering branches except Food, Pharmaceuticals and Arms and Ammunitions in the global market. The NTH with its headquarters in Kolkata functions through six regional laboratories located in Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Ghaziabad, Jaipur and Guwahati. The objective of NTH is to improve Indian Products to meet the requirements of National / International Standards for their acceptability.

A Pilot Project “Nutritional Programme for Adolescent Girls” (NPAG) was launched by the Planning Commission initially for a period of two years, i.e. 2002-03 and 2003-04 in 51 identified districts, i.e., in two of the backward districts in each of the major States and most populous district (excluding the capital district) in remaining smaller States/UTs in the country. This scheme was restarted in 2005-06. Ministry of Women and Child Development administers the scheme at the central level and State /UT Governments implement the scheme at state level.

Emergency Feeding Programme is a food-based intervention targeted for old, infirm and destitute persons belonging to BPL households to provide them food security in their distress conditions. This was introduced in May, 2001. The Scheme is being implemented by Government of Odisha in eight KBK (Kalahandi Bolangir Koraput) Districts.

In June 1997, the Government of India launched the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) with focus on the poor. Under the TPDS States required to formulate and implement foolproof arrangement for identification of the poor for delivery of foodgrains and for its distribution in a transparent and accountable manner at the FPS level.

In order to make TPDS more focused and targeted towards the poorest section of population, the “Antyodaya Anna Yojaja” (AAY) was launched in December, 2000 for one crore poor families.

India is a member of International Grains Council (IGC) which was previously known as International Wheat Council up to 1995 and is an intergovernmental forum of exporting and importing countries for cooperation in wheat and coarse grain matters.

Government of India is allocating food grains at BPL rates to the beneficiaries belonging to BPL category under the development schemes administered by International Organizations like World Food Programme.

In pursuance to the decision taken in the 14th SAARC Summit held in New Delhi on 3-4 April, 2007, the Heads of States of SAARC countries have signed the Agreement on establishing the SAARC Food Bank.

Oilseed production gained momentum with improving yields with the launching of the Technology Mission on Oilseeds by the Government in 1986. The country has been resorting to import of edible oils to bridge the gap between the demand and supply. The import policy was further liberalized from 1st April, 1999 allowing import of all edible oils except coconut oil.

The Vegetable Oil Industry is administered through the following control / regulation orders: (i) Vegetable Oil Products (Regulation) Order, 1998; (ii) Edible Oils Packaging (Regulation) Order, 1998; and (iii) Solvent Extracted Oil, De-Oiled Meal and Edible Flour (Control) Order, 1967. These orders are statutory in nature and derive their powers from the Essential Commodities Act, 1955. There are 258 Vanaspati units in the country with an annual capacity of 58 Lakh MTs.

Sugar production in India has been cyclic in nature. Due to good monsoon and increase in sugarcane area under cultivation, sugar production from sugarcane during the seasons 2006-07 and 2007-08 increased substantially to 282 lakh tones and 263 lakh tones respectively.

The Central Government fixes the Statutory Minimum Price (SMP) of sugarcane for each sugar season. The SMP is fixed on the basis of the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) and after consulting the State Governments and associations of sugar industry and cane growers.

The Scheme has got three components, namely Mega Food Parks, integrated Cold Chain and Setting up / Modernization of Abattoirs.

The Standards of Weights and Measures Act, 1976 and the Standard of Weights and Measures (Enforcement) Act, 1985 provide for the establishment of standards of weights and measures and enforcement thereof respectively. To make weights and measures law more transparent and simple, a comprehensive act namely “The Legal Metrology Act, 2009” has been enacted by the Parliament. The sale of commodities in “prepacked form” is regulated by the standards of weights and measures (packaged commodities) Rules 1977.

Last Updated on Thursday, 24 May 2012 12:30