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Sl.No. Title Page No.

1. GST : IMPACT ON THE CONSUMERS ........................................................................ 3



4. KEEPING PACE WITH TECHNOLOGICAL DYNAMICS .............................................. 8

5. CONSUMER INCLUSION IN FINANCIAL SERVICES ................................................ 10

6. THE OLD GIVES WAY TO THE NEW ......................................................................... 11

7. QUALITY ASSURANCE FOR THE CONSUMER ......................................................... 13

8. EDUCATING THE RURAL CONSUMER .................................................................. 144

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1. GST: IMPACT ON THE  Movie tickets costing below Rs.100 will be

CONSUMERS charged a GST rate of 18 percent but

prices above Rs.100 are charged with 28
What are the impacts of GST on
percent. So movie goers particularly in the
western and northern part of India are
 Footwear costing more than Rs. 500 worst affected as the ticket prices ranges
attracted a GST rate of 18 percent from an from Rs.175 to Rs.300.
earlier rate of 14.41 percent rate but rates
 The premium amounts on insurance
for the footwear below Rs. 500 was
policies are to rise and an immediate
reduced to 5 percent. So, one needed to
impact can be seen on one's term and
shell out more for buying a footwear above
Rs. 500. endowment policy premia as the rates
have been increased under GST across
 With respect to the readymade garments it Life, Health and General insurance.
has been reduced to 12 percent from an
 GST impact on your returns from mutual
existing 18.16 percent which would make
funds investments will largely be marginal
them cheaper. This is a major relief for the
as the GST will be charged on the Total
trendy youth or a fashionable youth.
Expense Ratio of the mutual fund.
 Taking taxi rides like Ola and Uber have
 Investment in Gold has become slightly
become cheaper because it has been
expensive because there is a 3 percent GST
reduced from existing 6 percent to 5
on gold and 5 percent on making charges
percent slab.
and the earlier tax rate was 2 percent.
 The effective tax rate for the railways has
 Under construction properties will be
increased from 4.5 percent to 5 percent in
cheaper than ready to move in properties.
GST. But the Input tax credit can be
The GST rate for an under construction
availed for business trips and it will reduce
property is 18 percent but the effective
the expenses.
rate on this kind of property which will be
 Under the GST, tax rate for economy class around 12 percent due to the input tax
for flight tickets is set at 5 percent and for credit of the builder will avail of, financial
business class at 12 percent. But the experts claim.
business class trips can avail the Input tax
 The impact on education and health
credit so it becomes cheaper to travel and
sectors for the consumers is nil as both
in turn it promotes airways.

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these were kept out of the ambit of the from earlier 15 percent to 28 percent
GST implementation. under the GST structure.

 The staying in low budget hotels will be  The daily consumable items like milk,
cheaper as there is no GST for the rent vegetables, cereals, fruits are exempted
below 1000 rupees but the 3 star and 5 from the GST and it will have a very great
star hotel stays are to become costlier as impact on the consumer end.
the GST slab is 28 percent.
 The buying of cars will be cheaper as the QUA NON FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE
GST rate is 28 percent irrespective of the
What are the six basic rights of
make, dimensions and engine capacity.
 People have to pay more amount to their
 Right to safety : Consumers are
phone calls as they have to pay the tax rate
authorised to protect themselves against
at 18 percent when compared to the earlier
the marketing of services and goods which
tax rate of 15 percent.
are hazardous for life and property.

 Eating out with families in weekends will

 Right to information : Consumers have
be less costlier than compared before as
every right to be informed about the
the rates are reduced to 5 percent.
quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard
 Popular sports events like IPL now attract and price of service or goods with a view to
a GST of 28 percent when compared to protect the consumers against the unfair
earlier 20 percent and because of this rise trade practices.
the ticketing costs will rise and it affects
 Right to choose : Consumers are
the sports fans.
authorised to get access to variety of
 The GST rate for events like art festival, services and goods at competitive services.

theatre festival and folklore festivals now

 Right to be heard : This right is the crux
attract 18 percent which is less when
of the Consumer protection Act, because
compared to earlier 20 percent which
under this right, consumers are assured
promotes these kind of events indirectly.
that if something goes wrong with the
 DTH connections or money paid to cable consumers, the interest will receive due
operators should reduce a bit as the tax care in the appropriate consumer forum.

rate is 18 percent when compared to

 Right to redressal : If a consumer has
earlier varying rates from 10 -30 percent
suffered a loss or injury due to unfair trade
in addition to 15 percent service tax.
practices or restrictive trade practice and
 The tickets to the amusement parks will allegations made in the complaint have
now rise as the rate of tax has been hiked been proves, the appropriate forum where

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complaint has been made, will identify What are the government interventions in
and compensate the consumer. consumer protection?

 Right to education : This right informs  To provide an alternate channel to resolve

the consumer about the practice prevalent their complaints GOI has set up a National

in the market and what remedies can be Consumer Helpline (NCH) with a toll free

availed of against them. number 1800 11 4000 which provides

information, guidance and empower the
What are the new provisions in new
Consumer protection Bill?
 As value added services, a mobile
 Consumer Dispute Redressal
application and easy to remember five
Commissions will be set up at the district,
digit short code 14404 have also been
state and national levels for adjudicating
launched for consumers from across the
consumer complaints.
country to access National Consumer
 The Bill establishes a Consumer Helpline.
Protection Authority to investigate into
 The Department of Consumer Affairs has
consumer complaints, issue safety notices
launched an Integrated Grievance Redress
for goods and services, and pass orders for
Mechanism (INGRAM) portal for bringing
recall of goods and against misleading
all stakeholders such as consumers,
Central and State Government Agencies,
 If a consumer suffers an injury from a private companies, regulators,
defect in a good, he may file a claim of Ombudsmen and call centers etc. on to a
product liability against the manufacturer. single platform.
The consumer must establish seven
 GOI in association with GS1 India has
conditions in order to prove such a claim.
launched a mobile application “ Smart
 The Bill classifies six contract terms as Consumer” to enable the consumer to
„unfair‟. These cover terms such as (i) scan the bar code of the product and get
payment of excessive security deposits; (ii) all details of the product such as name of
disproportionate penalty for a breach ; (iii) the product, details of manufacturer, year
unilateral termination without cause; (iv) and month of manufacture, net content
one which puts the consumer at a and consumer care details for making
disadvantage. complaint in case of any defect.

 The central government will set up the  The Online Consumer Mediation Centre
Central Consumer Protection Authority (OCMC) has been established at the
(CCPA) to promote, protect and enforce National Law School of India University,
the rights of consumers. Bengaluru under the aegis of Ministry of
Consumer Affairs, Government of India.
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The Centre aims to provide for a state-of- Government of India with the association
the-art infrastructure for resolving of United Nations Conference on Trade
consumer disputes both through physical and Development (UNCTAD).
as well as online mediation through its
 This is the first time an international
conference on consumer protection is
 The Grahak Suvidha Kendra – a one stop being organised by India for countries of
center was launched to provide a host of the region which account for a majority of
services to consumers under one roof. The the global consumers and share common
services envisaged include information challenges and experiences.
dissemination, consumer awareness,
mediation, grievance redress, assistance in
filing complaints before the relevant INDIA: GENESIS AND RECENT
consumer forum and counseling. DEVELOPMENTS

 A dedicated portal to register Grievances What is the origin of consumer

Against Misleading Advertisements
(GAMA) was initiated to serve as a central  Consumer protection owes its origin to the
registry for complaints against misleading USA. In the early 1960's, when consumers
advertisements. Any consumer in any part were unhappy with business firms which
of the country can register on this site and followed unfair trade practices, Ralph
can lodge a complaint against misleading Nader, a young advocate, championed the
advertisements. cause of consumers against traders and
business firms.
 In association with the Local Circles, a
social media platform, the GOI has  John F Kennedy, on March 15, 1962, in a
launched a platform „Online Consumer message to the U.S congress proclaimed
Communities‟ for citizens to discuss and that consumers has four rights i.e. right to
opine about, consumer related issues. safety, right to be informed, right to
choose and the right to be heard.
 The Jago Grahak Jago campaign will
integrate the internet safety message into  In India, the legal provisions for the
everyday tasks that Indian consumers prevention and control of unfair trade
undertake over internet - whether it be practices and for the promotion and
doing financial transactions, using emails, protection of consumer's interest have
doing e-Commerce or simply surfing the been in existence for a long time.
internet for information.
 Despite more than a dozen such
 International Conference on Consumer resolutions consumer and consumer
Protection is being organised by the interests were not protected. So the GOI
Department of Consumer Affairs,
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enacted a separate legislation called by copies of bills, prescriptions and other
Consumer Protection Act in 1986. relevant documents, and should set a
deadline for the company to respond.
What are the rights of an consumer
Consumers can also complain through a
under CPA, 1986?
consumer organisation.
 Right to be protected against marketing of
goods and services which are hazardous to  Claims of less than Rs. 5 lakh should be

life and property. filed with district forum, claims of Rs. 5-

Rs. 20 lakh directly with the state
 Right to be informed about the quality,
commission, and claims of more than Rs.
quantity, standard and price of goods or
20 lakh with the National Commission.
services so as to protect the consumer
against unfair trade practices. How to file a complaint?

 Complaint is to be filed within two years of

 Right to be assured, wherever possible,
buying the product or using the service.
access to variety of goods and services at
competitive prices.  Complaint needs to be in writing. Letters
should be sent by registered post, hand-
 Right to be heard and to be assured that
delivered, by email or fax. Don't forget to
consumers interests will receive due
take an acknowledgment.
consideration at appropriate forums.
 The complaint should mention the name
 Right to seek redressal against unfair trade
and address of the person who is
complaining and against whom the
 Right to consumer education. complaint is being filed. Copies of relevant
documents must be enclosed.
What is consumer redressal Forum?

 Under the Consumer Protection Act, every  The consumer must mention details of the
district has at least one consumer problem and the demand on the company
redressal forum also called a consumer for redressal. This could be replacement of
court. the product, removal of the defect, refund
of money, or compensation for expenses
 Here, consumers can get their grievances
incurred and for physical/mental torture.
heard. Above the district forums are the
Please ensure that the claims are
state commissions. At the top is the
National Consumer Disputes Redressal
Commission in New Delhi.  You should preserve all bills, receipts and
proof of correspondence related to the
 A written complaint to the company is
case. Avoid using voice mail or telephone
taken as proof that the company has been
because such interactions are normally
informed. The complaint must be backed
difficult to prove.
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 The complaint can be in any Indian one which puts the consumer at a
language, but it is better to use English. disadvantage.

 There is no compulsion to hire a lawyer. 4. KEEPING PACE WITH

Main cost consists of correspondence and TECHNOLOGICAL DYNAMICS
travelling to the consumer forum for the
Why Consumer protection is necessary at
 Maintain a complete record of the emails  Our world is becoming globalised,
and documents sent by you experiencing speedy transformational

What are provisions of new Consumer change in determining required

protection Bill? information, sharing, communicating,
socialising, banking etc., all creating
 The Bill enforces consumer rights, and
choices, opportunities, conveniences and
provides a mechanism for redressal of
lower prices for consumers.
complaints regarding defect in goods and
deficiency in services.  Today over 40 percent of the world's
population uses internet and with current
 Consumer Dispute Redressal
continued focus on access and inclusion,
Commissions will be set up at the district,
this is bound to increase.
state and national levels for adjudicating
consumer complaints.  In a digital economy, we may not be able
to avoid data transmissions. However, it is
 The Bill establishes a Consumer
vital that consumers exert control over
Protection Authority to investigate into
personal data flows and privacy
consumer complaints, issue safety notices
for goods and services, and pass orders for
recall of goods and against misleading  Losing all the information like personal
advertisements. records, bank account details, email ids
could mean financial loss, identity theft
 If a consumer suffers an injury from a
and deep distress on finding private
defect in a good, he may file a claim of
information in public domain.
product liability against the manufacturer.
The consumer must establish seven  Powerful digital technology allows
conditions in order to prove such a claim. companies to collect, store and share vast
quantities of consumer's personal data to
 The Bill classifies six contract terms as
support product functionality, but many
„unfair‟. These cover terms such as (i)
are truly neither necessary nor required.
payment of excessive security deposits; (ii)
disproportionate penalty for a breach ; (iii)  Personal security and safety in the digital
unilateral termination without cause; (iv) world necessarily should also cover

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particularly child consumers, who are practicing adverse methods that harm
vulnerable to harm or less able to manage vulnerable consumers be severely
online risks. punished.

 It is difficult to spot hazards and new risk  In order to take apt and necessary
threats in sophisticated new and decisions the consumer must be made
unfamiliar digital products now available aware about their personal data usage
as they may harm the consumers even implications, product usage implications
without their knowledge. etc.,

 Consumer products embedded with sensor  Practical, clear, accurate and credible
devices augmenting their functionality and
standard information about products and
thereby becoming "smart" are growing in
its functionality should be easily available
the consumer market.
to consumers, so that it can avoid
 Internet connectivity and wireless access complexity in decision making to the
may spur the demand of these products consumers.
and it has a great potential threat as the
 Digital policy should be such that they are
consumers may be unaware of these
easy to understand and manage, especially
products and may trapped by these
with respect to issues and apprehensions
products and can lose all the personal
of consumers participating in the digital
What can be the way forward to these
changes regarding to consumer  Digital consumer education entails, not

protection ? only knowing online rights, but also be

competent on relevant participative
 To increase consumers trust on business,
knowledge skills and behaviours to make
it is necessary to willingly listen,
effective usage of digital devices for
understand consumer under current
actively communicating in a functional
demands with a consumer centric
digital society.
approach and respond to their
expectations.  The Government has the obligation to

 Upholding digital consumer protection make competitive markets, for delivering a

and treating them fairly, should be the digital world which the consumer can

corporate culture and fundamental trust.

objective in governance of digital  Establishing rights to probability,

providers. adhering to comprehensive specification
standards in privacy and data sharing
 Regulatory policy legislation should be
practices must be entrusted.
such that companies not adhering to it or
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 In the digital economy, in addition to the consumers but the recent increase in
abuse of dominant market positioning, financial services and growth of e
new challenges unique to each sector commerce makes the GOI to think to
exists and addressing these re include financial inclusion also into the
indispensable for consumers benefit and ambit of consumer protection.
overall economic growth.
What are the guidelines issued by United

5. CONSUMER INCLUSION IN Nations in this regard ?

FINANCIAL SERVICES  Member states should establish or

encourage, as appropriate :
What are financial services and why
should be included in consumer  Financial consumer protection regulatory
protection? and enforcement policies
 Financial services are the economic
 Oversight bodies with the necessary
services provided by the finance industry,
authority and resources to carry out their
which encompasses a broad range of
businesses that manage money, like
banks, RBI, credit card companies,  Appropriate controls and insurance
brokerages, mutual funds etc., mechanisms to protect consumer assets,
including deposits.
 With the demonetisation and many other
schemes like Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan  Improved financial education strategies
Yojana financial inclusion is gaining that promote financial literacy.
importance and more people are now
 Fair treatment and proper disclosure,
availing benefits of financial institutions.
ensuring that financial institutions are
 The consumers are empowered when they also responsible and accountable for the
know their rights and obligations and are actions of their authorized agents.
able to defend them and consumer
 Financial services providers should have a
awareness creation about the financial
written policy on conflict of interest to
sector products is top priority.
help detect potential conflicts of interest.
 The financial services sector has many
 When the possibility of a conflict of
complexities exposing the consumer. He is
interest arises between the provider and a
bombarded with every day through e mails
third party, that should be disclosed to the
with numerous offers which he or she
consumer to ensure that potential
hardly understands.
consumer detriment generated by conflict
 India has a consumer protection law since of interest be avoided.

1986 and various sectoral legislations

 Responsible business conduct by financial
which provides security and safety to
services providers and authorized agents,
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including responsible lending and the sale Inclusion of the Group of 20 and the Good
of products that are suitable to consumer's Practices for Financial Consumer
needs and means. Protection of the World Bank.

 Appropriate controls to protect 6. THE OLD GIVES WAY TO THE

consumers' financial data, including from NEW
fraud and abuse.
What is Consumer Protection Act, 1986?
 A regulatory framework that promotes
 CP Act of 1986 is a revolutionary law that
cost efficiency and transparency for
brought consumer rights to the centre
remittances, such that consumers are
provided with clear information on the
price and delivery of the funds to be  This law for the first time spelt out six
transferred, exchange rates, all fees and basic rights of consumers like right to safe

any other costs associated with the money goods and services, right to information,
transfers offered, as well as remedies if right to choice, right to be heard, right to
transfers fail. consumer education and right to redress
particularly against trade fair practices.
 Member States should adopt measures to
reinforce and integrate consumer policies  The law provides consumer protection

concerning financial inclusion, financial councils at central, state and district levels

education and the protection of consumers to promote and protect these rights.

in accessing and using financial services.

 The focal point of the law is the three tier
 Member States may wish to consider adjudicatory system to redress consumer
relevant international guidelines and grievances against defective goods,

standards on financial services and the deficient services and unfair and
revisions thereof, and, where appropriate, restrictive trade practices.

adapt those guidelines and standards to

 In order to facilitate resolution of
their economic, social and environmental
complaints before the tribunals without
circumstances so that they can adhere to
advocates, the law provides a panel of
them, as well as collaborate with other judicial and non judicial members to settle
Member States in their implementation
disputes through summary procedure
across borders.
based on the principles of natural justice.

 Member States may wish to study the

 The redressal agencies are vested with the
High-level Principles on Financial
power to give a number of reliefs including
Consumer Protection of the Organization removal of deficiencies or defects in
for Economic Cooperation and services and goods.
Development and the Group of 20, as well
as the Principles for Innovative Financial
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 These tribunals opened the floodgates of enforce the rights given under the law and
consumer litigation in the country. And in to prevent the violations.
the last three decades, no sector has been
 In other words, the predominant character
of the Consumer Protection Act was to
 Many landmark judgements are delivered resolve consumer disputes after they had
by the apex consumer court have fortified arisen and not to prevent and protect
the consumer rights encapsulated in the them.
law and strengthened the fledging
 The resolutions passed by the consumer
consumer movement in the country.
councils are only in the recommendatory
Are consumer courts living up to their in nature and does not have a say of
mandate? consumer protection and their rights.

 Even as consumers have celebrated these  Even though the law describes six rights of
victories, there have been serious concerns consumers, it bestows a mechanism for
over the working of these agencies, the enforcement of just one of the rights
particularly the painfully slow process of specified under the law i.e. right to redress
justice. of grievances through a system of

 The inordinate delays in the appointment consumer justice.

of members of the adjudication panel by  The painfully slow process of adjudication,

state governments have often brought the combined with miserly computation of
working of these tribunals to a halt. compensation by the courts, failed to

 Incorporation of unnecessary create any fear of these courts in the

technicalities in the procedures by those minds of those who violated the rights of

sitting in judgement over the cases and consumers.

frequent adjournments given by them at  It was passed before the LPG reforms, but
the behest of lawyers, have made a in the free market economy, competition
mockery of the promised " Simple, Quick promotes improvement in the quality of
and Inexpensive redressal. goods and services and even brings a

 The IIPA report in 2014 said that the reduction in tariffs but at the same time it

effectiveness of this tribunals are only increased the corruption and dishonest

marginal and blamed it on inability of and devious marketing which affects the

consumer courts to deliver justice quickly consumers at large.

and in cost effective manner.  The improvements in the digital age also

What are the lacunae in the CPA, 1986? lead to many unfair practices like online
frauds, ATM card skimming etc., so these
 One of the major drawbacks of 1986 law is
that absence of a regulatory mechanism to
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changes also necessitated the replacement  Keeping in view, the interest of consumers
of CPA, 1986. as well as the industry, BIS is involved in
various activities as given below:
 Standards Formulation
 Product Certification Scheme
What is the need for Quality assurance?
 Compulsory Registration Scheme
 India has a large population which creates
a large market to every manufacturing and  Foreign Manufacturers
Certification Scheme
marketing organisation.
 Hall Marking Scheme
 The developing nature of the country and
the multi economic strata population  Laboratory Services

make it have for organisation of all types.  Laboratory Recognition Scheme

 There is a need for consumers to be  Sale of Indian Standards

proactive to protect themselves and for the  Consumer Affairs Activities
government to develop measures to
 Promotional Activities
protect the consumers.
 Training Services, National &
What institution was made to assure International level
quality of products?
 Information Services
 Over seventy years ago, Indian standards
What are the product conformity
institution was set up under the Societies
schemes operated under BIS?
Registration Act 1860, as the National
Product Certification Scheme
Standards Body of India.
 The Product Certification Scheme of BIS
 With the economy and industry growing aims at providing Third Party Guarantee
leaps and bounds, the Indian Standards of quality, safety and reliability of products
Institution was rechristened as the Bureau to the customer.
of Indian Standards, in 1987 through BIS  Presence of ISI certification mark, known
Act 1986. as Standard Mark, on a product is an
assurance of conformity to the
 BIS has been providing traceability and
tangibility benefits to the national
economy in a number of ways - providing  The conformity is ensured by regular
surveillance of the licensee's performance
safe reliable quality goods; minimizing
by surprise inspections and testing of
health hazards to consumers; promoting
samples, drawn both from the market and
exports and imports substitute; control factory.
over proliferation of varieties etc. through
standardization, certification and testing.
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 The manufacturer is permitted to self recognized Assaying and Hallmarking
certify the licenced products after Centres.
ascertaining its conformity to the
 The recognition of an Assaying and
Hallmarking Centre is done against IS
 Through its surveillance operations, the 15820:2009.
Bureau maintains a close vigil on the
Compulsory Registration Scheme
quality of certified goods.
 Ministry of Electronics & Information
 Although, the scheme itself is voluntary in Technology (MeitY) has notified
nature, the Government of India, on "Electronics and Information Technology
considerations of public health and safety, Goods (Requirement for Compulsory
security, infrastructure requirements and Registration) Order, 2012" on 3 Oct 2012
mass consumption has enforced for fifteen categories of electronics items.
mandatory certification on various Another 15 product categories were added
products through Orders issued from time by MeitY under this order on 13 Nov 2014.
to time under various Acts.
 As per the Order, no person shall
 While BIS continues to grant licences on manufacture or store for sale, import, sell
application, the enforcement of or distribute goods which do not conform
compulsory certification is done by the to the Indian standard specified in the
notified authorities. order.
Hallmarking  Manufacturers of these products are
 Hallmarking is the accurate determination required to apply for registration from
and official recording of the proportionate Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) after
getting their product tested from BIS
content of precious metal in precious
recognized labs.
metal articles.
 Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) then
 The principle objectives of the registers the manufacturers under its
Hallmarking Scheme are to protect the registration scheme who are permitted to
public against adulteration and to obligate declare that their articles conform to the
manufacturers to maintain legal standards Indian Standard (s).

of fineness. 8. EDUCATING THE RURAL

 In India, at present two precious metals CONSUMER
namely gold and silver have been brought Why the rural consumer should be
under the purview of Hallmarking. educated?

 As per this scheme, licence is granted to  Rural consumer's income is on the rise,
the jewellers by BIS under Hallmarking enabling more of them to buy products
Scheme. and services that improve the quality of
their lives.
 The BIS certified jewellers can get their
jewellery hallmarked from any of the BIS
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 The monthly per capita spending among  Due to entry of large number of players in
the rural consumers increased 17 percent the rural market and also due to stiff
between FY10 to FY12, higher than 12 competition there are large number of
percent which is for urban consumers. misleading advertisements in the print
and electronic media resulting in the
 Disposable incomes has gone up and
exploitation of rural consumer.
fuelled aspirations thus resulting in a
change in buying preferences. What is the way forward to educate the
rural consumer?
 Spending on non food items rose from 40
 The media has a greater role and responsibility
percent of the total spend in FY 2005 to
towards the vulnerable sections of the society
more than 50 percent in FY 2012.
including the rural consumer.
 There has also been a shift in the
 There are no effective sanctions against
awareness levels of the rural consumer
the misleading advertisements. The GOI
and the increased media penetration has
has to setup a regulatory mechanism to
played a vital role in rural India's values
penalise the media which portrays
and attitudes.
misleading advertisements.
 The rural markets, which were earlier
 The same media should be used to proto
ignored by most of the big international
the consumer awareness by the GOI and
market players, are now being seen having
media advertising policy should be formed
great business opportunity.
to regulate the advertisements in media.
 Though, the consumers in India have been
Jago Grahak Jago campaign
provided with various safety measures
against their exploitation, still the sellers  The Government carries out a multi-media
and producers are hoarding and black “Jago Grahak Jago” campaign on Pan-
marketing and essential goods, resorting India basis covering both rural and urban
to economic corruption and frequently areas through print, electronic and
cheating the consumers. outdoor media.

 Rural markets are full of substandard  Grants-in-aid are also released to

goods and duplicity of branded goods is States/UTs for creating consumer
another major problem in rural areas. awareness in the respective States/UTs at
local level in their regional languages so as
 The expansion service sectors like
to further ensure that the campaign
Insurance, banking, electricity etc.,
reaches the rural and backward areas of
without any checks and balances are
the country.
utilised to exploit the consumers in rural
areas by service providers.

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 This campaign must be effectively utilised  To ensure equitable geographical reach,
to promote the consumer rights and each of the 250,000 Gram Panchayats
awareness. would be expected to register an average
of 200-300 candidates.
Tackling Adulteration

 In 1986, the GOI had amended the  Digitally literate persons would be able to
operate computers/digital access devices
Prevention of Food Adulteration Act and
authorised every citizen to become a food (like tablets, smart phones, etc.), send and
receive emails, browse internet, access
inspector and participate in the task of
food safety. Government Services, search for
information, undertaking cashless
 But this information is little known to the transactions, etc. and hence use IT to
consumers and this kind of information actively participate in the process of
must be promoted by voluntary nation building.
organisations, community radio,
Panchayati Raj institutions
Television etc.,
 To reach the level of rural consumers, it is
 FSSAI also must take measures to contain
imperative to involve the Panchayati Raj
the food adulteration as many rural
institutions not only in educating
consumers unaware of food adulteration
may intake and can lead to health hazards. consumers but also ensuring that fake and
spurious products are not sold in the rural
Creating awareness through IT and
internet :

 'Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta  These institutions can play a meaningful
Abhiyan' (PMGDISHA) was launched to role in consumer welfare and this has been
make 6 crore rural households digitally recognized by the policy makers.

 The outlay for this project is Rs.2,351.38

crore to usher in digital literacy in rural
India by March,.2019. This is in line with
the announcement made by Finance
Minister in the Union Budget 2016-17.

 PMGDISHA is expected to be one of the

largest digital literacy programmes in the
world. Under the scheme, 25 lakh
candidates will be trained in the FY 2016-
17; 275 lakh in the FY 2017-18; and 300
lakh in the FY 2018-19.
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