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Textiles Ministry Announces Quality Control Orders for Items of Medical & Agro-Textiles

The Ministry of Textiles has unveiled two significant Quality Control Orders (QCOs) that will impact the medical and agricultural textile sectors in India. These QCOs are aimed at improving product quality, consumer safety, and fostering domestic manufacturing in these crucial sectors.

Shivam Dwivedi
Textiles Ministry Announces Quality Control Orders for Items of Medical & Agro-Textiles (Photo Source: Trade Promotion Council of India)
Textiles Ministry Announces Quality Control Orders for Items of Medical & Agro-Textiles (Photo Source: Trade Promotion Council of India)

In the first phase, the Ministry of Textiles introduced QCOs for six items in the Medical textiles category and twenty items in Agro-textiles. These regulations have undergone a meticulous process, including stakeholder consultation and legal vetting, ensuring they meet the highest standards. According to the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, these QCOs are designed to enhance the overall quality of textiles in these sectors.

The QCO for Medical textiles encompasses a diverse range of products vital to healthcare and hygiene. These include: Sanitary Napkins, Shoe covers, Dental bib/Napkins, Disposable baby diapers, Reusable sanitary pads/sanitary napkins/period panties, Bed sheets and pillow covers.

An important highlight of this QCO is the exemption granted to Self-Help Groups (SHGs) from compliance, particularly for essential products such as Sanitary Napkins, Baby Diapers, and Reusable Sanitary Pads/Sanitary Napkins/Period Panties. This move aims to promote small-scale production and empower local communities.

For Micro and Small Enterprises (SMEs) engaged in the production of Sanitary Napkins, Baby Diapers, and Reusable Sanitary Pads/Sanitary Napkins/Period Panties, the QCO will be effective from October 1, 2024. For other Medical textiles items and the general industry, it will come into force on April 1, 2024.

These QCOs apply equally to domestic manufacturers and foreign manufacturers intending to export their products to India. The Indian Government's objective is to raise the standards and quality of Agro-textiles and Medical textiles in the interest of public health and well-being.

The Agro-textiles QCO is set to take effect on April 1, 2024. It is of paramount importance to the agricultural community, aiming to elevate the quality and performance of Agro-textile products. This will ensure that farmers have access to reliable and durable solutions for their agricultural needs, ultimately benefiting India's agricultural sector. It encompasses a wide range of products designed to enhance agricultural and horticultural practices including the following:

  • Textiles—Polypropylene Spun Bonded Non—Woven Crop Cover and Fruit Skirting Bags for Agriculture and Horticulture Applications

  • Agro Textiles—Windshield nets for agriculture and horticulture purposes

  • Agro Textiles—Insect nets for Agriculture and Horticulture purposes

  • Agro Textiles—Harvest nets for Agriculture and horticulture purposes

  • Agro Textiles—Woven Ground covers for Horticulture Application

  • Agro textiles —Fencing nets for Agriculture and horticulture purposes—Specification Part 1 Fencing nets made from extruded polymer mesh

  • Jute Agro textiles for Growth of Plants and Suppression of Weeds

  • Agro textiles —Fencing nets for agriculture and horticulture purposes —Specification Part 2 Fencing nets made from monofilament yarns and combination of tape and monofilament yarns

  • Agro Textiles—High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) woven beds for vermiculture

  • Agro Textiles —Plant Support Nets for Agriculture and Horticulture Purposes

  • Jute Agro—textile—Sapling bags for growth of seedling /sapling

  • Agro Textiles —High Density

  • Polyethylene (HDPE) Laminated Woven Lay Flat Tube and Fittings for use in Rain Irrigation System

  • Agro Textile—High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) laminated woven lay flat tube for irrigation purposes

  • Agro—Textiles Flexible Water Storage Tank for Agriculture and Horticulture Purposes

  • Agro Textiles—Nylon Knitted seamless gloves for tobacco harvesters

  • Agro—Textiles Hail Protection Nets for Agriculture and Horticulture Purposes Specification Part1 Warp Knitted Hail Protection Nets

  • Agro Textiles High-density polyethylene (HDPE) laminated woven lay flat tube for use in mains and submains of drip irrigation system

  • Agro—Textiles Hail Protection Nets for Agriculture and Horticulture Purposes Specification Part 2 Woven Hail Protection Nets

  • Agro Textiles —Propylene Spun bonded non—woven mulch mat for agriculture and horticulture applications

  • Agro—Textiles Laminated Woven Orchard Protection Covers

These QCOs play a vital role in safeguarding consumer interests and supporting the growth of the Technical Textiles sector. They are designed to provide the best value to users and end consumers while fostering Indian product quality that is on par with global standards.

In the first phase, two QCOs were issued for 19 items of Geo-textiles and 12 items of Protective textiles, scheduled to come into effect from October 7, 2023. Looking ahead, Phase-III is expected to consider approximately 30 more Technical Textiles items, including building textiles, industrial textiles, ropes, and cordages, among others, for potential QCO issuance.

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