Sep 18, 2023 401 views

Strengthening Consumer Protection: Indian Government’s Bold Initiatives

Category: Blog

There’s a popular proverb – ‘consumers are the king of the market.’

Naturally the Indian government has taken remarkable steps to protect consumer rights recognising the need to safeguard the interests of the general public. With a growing consumer base and expanding markets it has become crucial to ensure fair practices and protect consumers from fraudulent and unethical business practices. These steps aim to empower consumers, provide adequate information and redressal mechanisms and promote a healthy marketplace that fosters trust and transparency.
Some of the key initiatives include:
1. Consumer Protection Act 2019: The government introduced the Consumer Protection Act which came into effect on July 20, 2020. This updated legislation aims to protect the rights of consumers in both offline and online transactions. It establishes a Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) to regulate e-commerce activities and prevent unfair trade practices.
2. e-Daakhil Portal: The Ministry of Consumer Affairs Food and Public Distribution launched the e-Daakhil portal which enables consumers to lodge complaints online quickly and conveniently from anywhere of the country.It helps consumers file complaints against unfair trade practices faulty products and deficient services.

3. Gama Portal: The Government of India established the Gama Portal to provide a platform for consumers to register grievances related to misleading advertisements. The portal allows users to report deceptive advertisements, misleading claims and false information.

4. Right to Repair: The government has been working on introducing the “Right to Repair” policy which aims to empower consumers by allowing them the option to repair or choose a service provider for their electronic devices. This policy aims to reduce e-waste and increase competition in the repair and maintenance market.

5. National Consumer Helpline: The Ministry of Consumer Affairs operates the National Consumer Helpline a toll-free helpline (1800-11-4000) that provides consumers with assistance, guidance and information about their rights. Consumers can register complaints, seek advice and receive support in resolving consumer-related issues.

6. Consumer Protection Rules: The government has also introduced specific rules under the Consumer Protection Act to regulate e-commerce platforms direct selling entities and product liability. These rules ensure fair practices, consumer-friendly terms and conditions and hassle-free grievance redressal mechanisms for online consumers.

7. E-Commerce Guidelines: The government released new guidelines for e-commerce platforms that came into effect on February 1 2019. These guidelines require transparency and accountability from e-commerce companies. They outline rules for displaying product information refund and return policies grievance handling and more.

8. Mandatory Disclosure of Country of Origin: In July 2020, the government mandated that e-commerce platforms display the country of origin for all products they sell. This move aims to promote transparency and enable consumers to make informed decisions about their purchases.

9. Grievance Redressal Mechanisms: The government has emphasised the establishment of robust grievance redressal mechanisms for consumer complaints against online platforms. Dedicated online portals like the National Consumer Helpline, Consumer Online Resource and Empowerment Centre.

10. Digital Payments Security: With the increasing use of digital payment methods the government has focused on enhancing the security of online transactions. Regulatory bodies such as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have issued guidelines to ensure the integrity and safety of digital payment platforms.

11. Online Dispute Resolution: The government has launched initiatives like the e-commerce dispute resolution and consumer mediation centres to provide a platform for consumers to resolve their disputes with online portals and sites. These mechanisms aim to expedite the resolution process and reduce consumer inconvenience.

12. Awareness Campaigns: To educate and empower consumers, the government conducts awareness campaigns through different mediums. These campaigns inform consumers about their rights as such how to identify counterfeit products precautions while making online purchases and steps to take in case of grievances.

Overall the Indian government is actively striving to strengthen consumer protection regarding online portals and sites. The Indian government’s efforts to protect consumer rights have been commendable and demonstrate a commitment to creating a fair and secure marketplace for its citizens. By enacting consumer protection laws, establishing regulatory agencies and implementing awareness campaigns the government has strived to empower consumers and hold businesses accountable for their actions. These steps emphasise the importance of consumer rights and contribute to a more equitable and trustworthy business environment. However continuous evaluation and enhancement of these measures would be crucial to address emerging challenges in an evolving consumer landscape.

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