The Consumer Protection Bill, 2015 that seeks to amend the archaic Consumer Protection Act, is expected to be passed in the winter session of Parliament, said Ram Vilas Paswan.
Speaking at FICCI’s annual retail, FMCG and e-commerce convention, Massmerize 2016, Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution said, “We are confident of passage of the bill in the next session of Parliament. We have taken care of misleading ads and adulteration in the bill.”
From past 32 years, Consumer Protection Act is seen as an inefficient piece of legislation, out of step with the new market dynamics, multi-layered delivery chains, innovative and often misleading advertising and marketing machinery.
The new Bill that awaits Parliament’s assent seeks to empower the consumers to protect their rights against unfair trade practices. It intends to close the gaps with regard to protection of consumer rights including the time taken in settling disputes, an ability to reach to the manufactures for product liability and curb misleading advertisements.
The Consumer Protection Bill aims to provide stringent punishment for celebrities and brand ambassadors endorsing misleading ads and those involved in adulteration. It also has provisions to regulate e-commerce and direct selling, besides setting up of a regulator.
Paswan said that it was important for industry to win the trust of the consumers and weed out companies indulging in misleading advertisements which often played with the health of the consumers. The onus, he said, was on industry to deliberate on this issue with seriousness and identify factors that are inimical to industry’s growth.
The minister emphasized that the protection of consumer interest and consumer satisfaction was critical for the success of any marketing strategy. He also insisted that consumer-friendly awards should be constituted to recognize companies that placed consumers’ first.
He has asked retail and FMCG firms to focus more on consumer interest as the Government is bringing a stringent law to curb misleading ads and adulteration.
The industry should win the trust of the consumers, which is critical for the success of any business, he said, while asking the industry to deliberate on this issue and identify factors that are inimical to its growth.
Paswan also assured the industry that his ministry is ready to resolve issues related to packaging and labelling norms.