Govern­ment and in­dus­try bod­ies sign MoU to em­power con­sumers

Consumer Voice - - In The News -

Mark­ing World Consumer Rights Day on 22 March, In­dia’s De­part­ment of Consumer Af­fairs signed MoUs with in­dus­try bod­ies to un­der­take joint pro­grammes on im­ple­ment­ing a self-reg­u­lated code of busi­ness prac­tices to pro­tect consumer rights against mis­lead­ing ads and fake items. Es­tab­lish­ing a consumer af­fairs divi­sion/ver­ti­cal within the in­dus­try body, ini­ti­at­ing ad­vo­cacy ac­tion against un­fair trade prac­tices, pre­vent­ing fake, coun­ter­feit and sub-stan­dard prod­ucts and ser­vices, and adop­tion of vol­un­tary stan­dards by in­dus­try mem­bers have been agreed upon in the MoUs. Ear­mark­ing of CSR funds for consumer aware­ness and pro­tec­tion ac­tiv­i­ties; part­ner­ing with the Na­tional Consumer Helpline and State Consumer Helplines for griev­ance re­dres­sal; and launch­ing joint consumer aware­ness, ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing pro­grammes will also be taken up by the in­dus­try. A joint work­ing group will mon­i­tor the im­ple­men­ta­tion as­pects.

The self-reg­u­la­tory code of eth­i­cal busi­ness con­duct cov­ers six broad prin­ci­ples: namely safety of prod­ucts and ser­vices, build­ing sus­tain­able sup­ply chains, mar­ket­ing prod­ucts eth­i­cally, non-in­dul­gence in un­fair trade prac­tices, com­ply­ing with com­pe­ti­tion and anti-trust laws, and prompt re­sponse to consumer com­plaints. Govern­ment, in­dus­try and vol­un­tary consumer or­gan­i­sa­tions will work to pop­u­larise the code amongst in­dus­try and busi­ness, and en­sure that it is in­creas­ingly ad­hered to.

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