Consumer is the real deciding factor for all economic activities.

It is now universally accepted that the extent of consumer protection is a true indicator of the level of progress in a nation. The growing size and complexity of production and distribution systems, the high level of sophistication in marketing and selling practices and forms of promotion like advertising, etc has contributed to the increased need for consumer protection. Recognising this, a well placed organisational set up has been created both at the Central and State level. At the central, Department of Consumer Affairs, under Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution is the nodal organisation for the protection of rights of consumers, redressal of consumer grievances and promotion of standards of goods and services, etc.

It also postulates establishment of Consumer Protection Councils at the Central and State levels for the purpose of spreading consumer awareness. The Act has set up a three-tier quasijudicial consumer disputes redressal machinery at the National. relying on mainly compensatory rather than a punitive or preventive approach.The Consumer Protection Act. The Weights and Measures Unit. Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has been set up under Bureau of Indian Standards Act. State and District levels. 1986 as the National Standards Body of India. It is engaged in formulation of quality standards of goods or services as well as their certification through Quality Certification Schemes. 1986 is the most important legislation enacted to provide for effective safeguards to consumers against various types of exploitations and unfair dealings. . under the Department of Consumer Affairs has been set up to promote use of exact and correct weighing and measuring instruments. for expeditious and inexpensive settlement of consumer disputes.

Kennedy of four basic consumer rights: •The right to safety •The right to be informed •The right to choose •The right to be heard . Every year 15th March is observed as "World Consumer Rights Day". age. regardless of occupation. gender.Every individual is a consumer. Consumer rights and welfare are now an integral part of the life of an individual and we all have made use of them at some or the other point in our daily routine. It commemorates a historic declaration (1962) by former US President John or religious affiliation.

and pharmaceuticals) and Consumer education and information programme . Another significant day is 9 April 1985.This declaration eventually led to the international recognition of the fact that all citizens. water. have basic rights as consumers. These guidelines constituted a comprehensive policy framework outlining what Governments need to do to promote consumer protection in the following areas: Physical safety Protection and promotion of consumer economic interests Standards for safety and quality of consumer goods and services Measures enabling consumers to obtain redressal Measures relating to specific areas (food. regardless of their incomes or social standing. when the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a set of guidelines for consumer protection and the Secretary General of the United Nations was authorized to persuade member countries to adopt these guidelines through policy changes or law.

potency.Many a times their complaint may be of small value but its impact on the society as a whole may be very large. They should know their rights and must exercise them. is mainly responsible for their exploitation. Right to Consumer Education Means the right to acquire the knowledge and skill to be an informed consumer throughout life.Right to Seek Redressal Means right to seek redressal against unfair trade practices or unscrupulous exploitation of consumers. particularly of rural consumers. Only then real consumer protection can be achieved with success. the concern of consumer protection is to ensure fair trade practices. customers. Such a consumer protection policy creates an environment whereby the clients. Ignorance of consumers. Thus. composition and price for their choice of purchase. quantity. They can also take the help of consumer organisations in seeking redressal of their grievances. quality of goods and efficient services with information to the consumer with regard to quality. and consumers receive satisfaction from the delivery of goods and services needed by them. Consumers must make complaint for their genuine grievances. . It also includes right to fair settlement of the genuine grievances of the consumer.

The purchased goods and services availed of should not only meet their immediate needs. standard and price of goods so as to protect the consumer against unfair trade practices. which are hazardous to life and property. but also fulfil long term interests. This will enable him to act wisely and responsibly and also enable him to desist from falling prey to high pressure selling techniques. Right to be Informed Means right to be informed about the quality. Before purchasing. They should preferably purchase quality marked products such as ISI. consumers should insist on the quality of the products as well as on the guarantee of the products and services. etc. Consumer should insist on getting all the information about the product or service before making a choice or a decision. purity. . potency. quantity. AGMARK.The Act envisages the promotion and protection of the following rights of consumers: Right to Safety Means right to be protected against the marketing of goods and services.

The consumers should form non-political and non-commercial consumer organizations which can be given representation in various committees formed by the Government and other bodies in matters relating to consumers. . It also includes right to basic goods and services. wherever possible of access to variety of goods and services at competitive price. it means right to be assured of satisfactory quality and service at a fair price. This right can be better exercised in a competitive market where a variety of goods are available at competitive prices.Right to Choose Means right to be assured. It also includes right to be represented in various forums formed to consider the consumer's welfare. This is because unrestricted right of the minority to choose can mean a denial for the majority of its fair share. Right to be Heard Means that consumer's interests will receive due consideration at appropriate forums. In case of monopolies.


such as… = sometimes traders indulge in unfair trade practices.THE CONSUMER IN THE MARKET PLACE………. power and reach can manipulate the market in various ways. . = passing of false information through media to attract consumers. whereas consumers are scattered and purchase in small quantities. = when adulterated/defective goods are sold. Markets do not work in a fair manner when producers are few and powerful. = as a producer we produce goods and services. = traders add charges that were not mentioned. = and as a consumer we purchase goods and services that we need. This happens especially when large companies with huge wealth. Hence there is a need for rules and regulations to ensure protection for consumers. But in the market. We participate in the market both as a consumer and a producer. such as when traders weigh less than what they should. we find that very often it is the consumers who are exploited to a great extent. Exploitation in the market place happens in various ways..

United Nations adopted the UN guidelines for consumer protection. In India. world wide for consumer protection. In 1985. such as. A major step was taken in 1986 by the Indian Govt with the enactment of the Consumer Protection Act 1986. = there was no legal system available for consumers to protect themselves from exploitation in the market place.Consumer Movement…… Consumer movements arose out of the following. a) food shortage b) hoarding c) black marketing d) adulteration of food and edible oil. .consumer organizations were largely engaged in writing articles and holding exhibitions. = dissatisfaction of the consumers as many unfair practices were being indulged in by the sellers. however till the 1970’s . popularly known as COPRA. today Consumers International has become an umbrella body of 240 organization from 100 countries. consumer movement originated with the necessity of protecting and promoting the interest of consumers against unethical and unfair trade practices. In an organized way consumer movement was form in the 1960’s. and this has become a tool to press the Govts.

Therefore the manufacturers of the safety valve have to ensure a high quality but.SAFETY IS EVERYONE’S RIGHT……… While using many goods and services. have the right to be protected against the marketing of goods and delivery of services that are hazardous to life and property. which if defective can cause a serious accident. . Producers need to strictly follow the required safety rules and regulations. we do find bad quality in the market. we as consumers. they are many goods which require special attention for safety such as the pressure cooker which have safety valve. because the supervision of these rules is weak and the consumer movement is also not strong enough.

batch number. . Right to be informed.Any consumer who receives goods and services in whatever capacity. 2.When we buy any commodity. date of manufacture.Right to be informed :. 1. Right to choose. price. expiry date and the address of the manufacturer. gender and nature of services. regardless of age. Right to choose :. 1.INFORMATION ABOUT GOODS AND SERVICES………… Regarding information to goods and services. has the “right to choose” whether to received the same or not. Why does the manufacturer displays this information ? It is because consumers have the “right to be informed” about the particulars of goods and services that they purchase. we find certain details given on the package such as ingredients used. we as consumers have the following Rights……. 2.

-.Where should consumers go to get justice :Consumers have the right to seek redressal against unfair trade practices and exploitation in the consumer court.tier system is set up at the district. on many occasions they also represent individual consumers in the consumer court.the national level above 1 crore. Under COPRA a three. -. If any damage is done to a consumer. .The district level court deals with the cases involving claims up to 20 lakhs. state and National level for redressal of consumer disputes. they guide Consumers on how to file cases in the consumer court.the state level courts from Rupees 20 lakhs to 1 crore. he or she has the right to get compensation depending on the degree of damage. The consumer movement in India has led to the formation of various organization locally known as consumers forum or consumers protection council. -.

School children are mostly dependent on their parents. Consumers education can alert the pupils to the corporate dumping of dangerous pharmaceuticals and similar products. 4. goods and services.Why consumer Education is Important …… Consumer education is important for the following reasons :1. and thus not fall prey to advertisements or persuasions. 2. Technological developments have flooded the market with a variety of products. It provides the person with the basic knowledge to handle consumer problem. . it is therefore important that a person possesses basic knowledge and skills to judge the product. he/she becomes a discriminating buyer by taking rational decisions. it is therefore important that they make the best use of their pocket money. 3.

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