Quality control from next January

An equipment measuring thickness of a CGI sheet

Hardware Goods: To stem import and use of spurious hardware goods, starting January next year, construction materials will have to be bought from Bhutanese dealers, instead of those across the border in Indian towns.Department of trade will be implementing the rule.Over 5,000 hardware items are imported from India, and 80 percent of them are believed to be spurious.Bhutanese dealers will be certified by Indian companies, approved by Bhutan Standard Bureau (BSB) to directly import good from them and supply to Bhutanese retailers.

Currently, retailers buy from dealers in Jaigaon.Regional trade director, Kinley Wangchuk, said, with Bhutanese dealers in place, chances of getting spurious goods can be avoided.“If we receive complaints, we can take action, which earlier we couldn’t, since the suppliers were not locals,” he said.  Custom checkpoint will restrict goods that are not approved by BSB.

The decision to have local dealers, he said, was made, based on several complaints the regional office has been receiving regarding the quality of goods.Kinley Wanchuck said the rule should have been implemented by September this year, but most Bhutanese dealers couldn’t obtain dealership certificate on items approved for import by BSB.

The companies had refused dealership, because the Bhutanese market was small.“But we hope we’ll be able to implement by January,” he said. “If this is successful, it’ll benefit Bhutanese from product manipulation, which is a common practice in Jaigaon.”BSB’s chief engineer for certification division, Rinchen Namgay, said they have approved more than 100 products, but there weren’t enough Bhutanese dealers, who have obtained dealership certificate.The approved list includes materials like cement, CGI sheet, electrical appliances, bricks, water pipes and switches, among others.

Rinchen Namgay said officials from BSB visited about 48 companies, and inspected the products before approving them.So far, BSB has received about 44 dealers, of which 29 deal in civil products and 14 in electrical ones.  A wholesaler can deal up to 30 hardware items.Lacking equipment and resources to carry out detailed inspection, Rinchen Namgay said, BSB officials will demand proof of quality certificate issued by ISO or BIS from the dealers.

Bhutanese interested in availing dealership certificates said it was an expensive affair. “We have to pay an annual dealership fee,” said one.“They ask us to pay a million,” another said. “We’re also required to meet their sale quantity, which is quite challenging here.”Trade officials said retailers, whose products are below required BSB standards, should be rid of them by December this year.

courtesy: Kuensel