- A new consumer protection law is on the anvil to crack down on misleading advertisements and simplify the grievance redressal mechanism.
- A a two-day international conference on Consumer Protection for East, South, Southeast and Asian nations was held recently.
- India’s consumer protection traditions dated back to 2,500 years. Laws existed even in the Vedic period to prevent unfair trade practices and adulteration of products
About the conference:
- The conference is being organised by the Department of Consumer Affairs, Government of India and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
- The theme is “Empowering Consumers in New Markets”.
- 22 countries from East, South and South-East Asia are participating in this conference.
About the New Proposed Law:
- The new law will replace the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, and is in line with the revised UN guidelines on consumer protection.
- It is currently with the Cabinet Secretariat and will be placed before the Cabinet for consideration soon.
- The proposed Act lays great emphasis on consumer empowerment.
- Stringent provisions are proposed against misleading advertisements.
- A Central Consumer Protection Authority with executive powers will be constituted for quick remedial action.
- The new Real Estate law, new Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) Act, the Ujjwala scheme and direct benefit transfers as steps taken to empower consumers.
- The new Goods and Services Tax was one of the key consumer-friendly reforms. The GST would benefit consumers in the long run as prices would come down because of competition among manufacturers.