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What is consumer protection bill 2019?

Parliament passed Consumer protection Bill 2019 recently to amend the Consumer Protection Act 1986.

KEY FEATURES OF BILL;

  • Definition of consumer: someone who buys any goods or services for consideration – not include the purchase of goods for RESALE.
  • Six rights for Consumer including protection against hazardous goods, right to information right to access a variety of goods etc.
  • A central consumer Protection Authority to impose a penalty against misleading advertisements.
  • Consumer dispute Redresscommission on nation state and district level.
  • Protect the liability of the manufacturer and to compensate for consumers loss.

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SIGNIFICANCE OF BILL:

  • A proper definition of the consumer was needed for better implementation of Act.
  • By providing consumer certain rights, the consumer now has certain ‘standards’ to gauge the service quality against.
  • Misleading ads and repercussions on poor and illiterate population were needed to be contained a central body set up for that.
  • To address the grievances of each and every consumer, dispute redresses commission at every level.
  • Onus on produces regarding the spurious product will reduce the amorous and malicious tendencies of produces to sell substandard producer.

Following issues and concerns are there –

  • Despite setting new bodies like central consumer protection authority, forces should be on inspiring the existing forums.
  • More establishments of regulators no proper division of work, qualifications can create a Conflict of interest.
  • Rights are not defined properly.
  • Lack of awareness among people about the respective activities and rights of consumers.
  • Compensation is not ensured often to the consumers and the lack of process to put the onus on producers and a few of their responsibilities.

Following steps can be taken to improve the sets –

  • Proper implementation in the spirit in every part of the country.
  • Ensure effective functioning of bodies under the Act with concepts like Social Audits.
  • Proper standards and discussion of work, responsibilities, mandate with increased accountability.
  • Increased awareness among Masses regarding bill.
  • Cater to every type of consumer – remote, ‘e’ platforms etc. – Draft e-commerce guidelines for consumer protection is a right step.

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Steps like National Action plan for consumer awareness, ‘Jago Grahak Jago’ etc. are right steps. Effects need to be made to maximize the service delivery to a consumer with proper redresses Mechanics in place.

NABARD 2019

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