Meaning of Consumer Awareness
The process of making a consumer or an individual aware of their responsibilities and rights when purchasing services and goods is known as Consumer awareness. The services Consumer awareness is very important in today’s scenario so that the consumer can make the right decision and they have the right information about the product and services which is to be sold to them.
Consumer Awareness in India
The Consumer Awareness projects in India is done through the various campaigns which have slogans on consumer awareness like “Jago Grahak Jago” and law enacted by the government and the NGO’s. The government of India enacted the Consumer Protection Act 1986 to make aware the customers about their rights and responsibilities which are mention under the Consumer Protection Act 1986. The consumer rights and the responsibilities mentioned under the act are given below:
1) Right to Safety- Consumers can insist on the guarantee and quality of the goods before buying.
2) Right to Choose- The customer can choose a variety of goods at competitive prices.
3) Right to be Informed- All the necessary information about the product must be given to the customer.
4) Right to Consumer Education- The rights should be known to customers to avoid exploitation.
5) Right to be Heard- To express the grievances the customer must get the chance.
6) Right to Seek Compensation- This says that the consumer has the right to be compensated for the exploitation and unfair trade practice with the consumer.
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1) Responsibility to be Aware- Before purchasing the product the consumer must be mindful of quality and safety.
2) Responsibility to Think Independently- Consumer must know that what he wants so that he can make independent decisions.
3) Responsibility to Speak Out- Buyers must tell traders fearlessly about their grievances.
4) Responsibility to Complain- In a fair and sincere manner, the consumer has the responsibility to file a complaint about the product or service dissatisfaction.
5) Responsibility to be an Ethical Consumer- Deceptive practice fear should be there so that consumers will not engage themselves in it.
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Consumer Protection Act 1986
The government of India enacted the Consumer Awareness and Redressal and Enforcement of Consumer Protection Act, of 1986 for the protection and awareness of consumer rights and responsibilities. The key take, away from the consumer protection act 1986 is given below:
1) Consumer Awareness project and programs to be Undertaken
The government of India had prepared the plan for the awareness of the consumers for their rights, through the different departments and ministries and different media.
2) Consumer Grievance Redressal Machinery to be Strengthened.
The Grievance Redressal Mechanism must be improved by the following methods:
- The infrastructure of the National Commission to be Strengthened.
- The National Commission which is located in Delhi must have its circuit branches for the quick disposal of cases.
- The Consumer Forums must be Strengthened by providing them all the required infrastructure.
3) Strengthening infrastructure Standards of Laboratories of Measures & Weights
4) Regional Reference Standard Laboratories must have Additional Staff
So that they can provide timely verification and calibration to industries and states.
5) In the Consumer Welfare Fund (CWF) the greater involvement of States/UTs.
The main focus of the fund is to use it for the education and promotion of the welfare of consumers.
6) The District Administration must be involved in consumer protection and awareness.
7) National Policy on Consumer Protection must be made.
8) The Ministry has to set up six working groups for the protection of consumer interest.
9) For the Promotion of Consumer Interests a Standing Committee has to be formed.
10) For the involvement of the students the consumer clubs have to be made under the Consumer Welfare Fund (CWF).
11) Involvement of Colleges, Universities, and Research Institutes.
12) A dedicated National Consumer Helpline must be provided.
13) Within the department Consumer Activist Group must be set up which includes the senior officer of the department.
14) Gold Hall Marking has to be done for the jewelry certification.
15) Each State and Union Territory must have its own separate action plan.
16) The progress made by the State and Union Territory will be reviewed on the regular basis.
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Consumer Protection Act 2019
The government of India through the ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution has introduced the Consumer Protection Bill, 2019 in the Lok Sabha to replace the old Consumer Protection Act 1986. The bill is yet to be passed by both houses. The Consumer Protection Bill, 2019 has the following key features:
- Definition of the consumer.
- Rights of consumers.
- Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA).
- Penalties for misleading advertisement.
- Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) can also prohibit the endorser of a misleading advertisement.
- Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission will be set up.
- Jurisdiction of Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions will be defined.
- Product liability is defined, it means the manufacturer or seller will be liable for the product.
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