Indian Direct Selling Association (IDSA) proudly partnered and participated in ‘National Consumer Day’ celebrations, held in Mumbai on 9th January 2018. Organized by Maharashtra State Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection Department, the conference was themed around Emerging Digital Markets: Issues & Challenges in Consumer Protection’. During this one-day events, the government touched upon the issues such as misleading advertisements on digital platform, Consumer complaints redressal mechanism and need to protect consumers in the digital era.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who was the Chief Guest at the event, said “In today’s digital world, new avenues of distribution models are emerging such as e-commerce & Direct Selling. The Department of Consumer Protection is working on a mechanism to regulate these industries in the interest of consumers”.
Principal Secretary for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection, Mahesh Pathak said that the Department is developing an online portal to address the complaints related to the Direct Selling distribution model and thanked IDSA and FICCI for lending support in developing the portal. Pathak also appreciated the efforts of IDSA in helping the Department organizing the National Consumer Day event.
“Direct Selling has emerged as a popular non-store retail model for the consumers to buy products. However, in the past, a lot of fraudulent players operated under the garb of Direct Selling, duping consumers of their hard-earned money, thus bringing bad name for the legitimate Direct Selling Industry. The Central Guidelines has now drawn a clear distinction between legitimate Direct Selling and fraudulent players, bringing much relief for the Industry. These Guidelines have been adopted by the states of Chhattisgarh, Sikkim, Telangana & Andhra Pradesh and we have now requested the Maharashtra Government to also issue the Guidelines in the state,” said Amit Chadha, Secretary General, IDSA.
On 5th January 2018, the Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Ram Vilas Paswan tabled the Consumer Protection Bill 2018 in the Parliament, taking a giant step towards a strong National level consumer protection policy. The new Bill, has provision for redressal of complaints regarding the defect in goods and deficiency in services.
“Direct Selling is a business run by the consumers, for the consumers as the Direct Sellers are the primary consumers as well. In this context, safeguarding the interest of consumers has been a priority for all Direct Selling entities. Central Consumer Affairs Ministry tabling the Consumer Protection Bill 2018 in the Parliament is the apt step forward towards consumer protection. The Bill has provision of establishing an authority to safeguard the interest of the consumers and facilitating faster consumer redressal mechanism, an utmost necessity in the current scenario,” opined Vivek Katoch, Chairman, IDSA.
The Department of Consumer Affairs, Government of India, for a long, has been stressing upon the need of a strong and exhaustive Consumer Protection Mechanism and the Consumer Protection Bill 2018 paves way for the same.