Use of proper and accurate standards, weights and measures is very important for effective functioning of any economy, as it plays an indispensable role in promoting welfare of consumers. Through this, consumers are protected from malpractice of underweight or under measure. They get right and exact amount of product for the money spent by them. Further, marking and certification of quality of products bring confidence and satisfaction to the consumers. Their purchase decisions become simplified and they are assured that their needs for quality will be met. Hence, protection of consumers is accomplished by setting minimum quality specifications and safety standards for both goods and services as well as by establishing mechanisms to redress their grievances.
The Weights and Measures Unit, under the Department of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, has been set up to promote use of exact and correct weighing and measuring instruments. For this, various legislations have been enacted like Standards of Weights and Measures Act, 1976, Standards of Weights and Measures (Enforcement) Act 1985, Standards of Weights and Measures (General) Rules 1987 and Standards of Weights and Measures (Packaged commodities) Rules, 1977. All such regulations aimed to ensure that consumers get the exact quantity of commodities, with mandatory declaration of relevant information on the package of goods; as well as facilitate use of standard weighing and measuring instruments in trade and commerce activities. Further, there are also Weights and Measures Departments/ Wings or Department of Legal Metrology in various States and Union Territories to regulate all such provisions of weights and measures.
Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS)
has been set up under Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986 (BIS Act, 1986)
as the National Standards Body of India. It majorly performs two types of activities, namely, formulation of quality standards of goods or services and their certification through Product Certification Scheme/ Quality Certification Scheme. BIS Act, 1986 seeks to protect the interests of the consumers and promote their welfare by formulating and enforcing the standardization, marking and quality certification of goods. Quality Management Systems serve as an indicator of the ability of the firm to meet quality needs of the consumers.