It takes time to Empower Consumers !
BY ASHIM SANYAL, COO CONSUMER VOICE
The year 2019 will be remembered as the year of consumer empowerment with the passage of Consumer Protection Act 2019 after 30 years. It has been a long haul for many consumer organizations working in the space of consumer education including Consumer Voice, to finally get the Bill passed into an Act. Just to remind everyone that mere passage of the Act doesn’t mean final victory as rules are yet to be framed. So we have embarked on the next phase of submitting our views so that Rules when finalized, doesn’t miss out major issues which will disturb consumer protection processes.
Having said that, the year that passed by saw a tumultuous struggle for consumer voices against malpractices by the sellers. Prominent space was occupied by the E Commerce section which on one hand has gained tremendous consumer traction while on the other hand it unraveled the proof that if left unregulated, the industry can wreak havoc with the consumers. Hopefully 2020 will see a better traction since E Commerce will be a part of the Consumer Protection Act.
There is also a huge concern about the financial services with products being dumped to consumers with misleading promises. This is evident from the number of complaints we have received in 2019. This needs a check and I am sure that the financial sector will occupy a major attention span for consumer organizations.
Food safety, nutrition and hygiene have made some significant progress with the Eat Right India movement but the ground level masses are yet to receive its benefits. Urban and rural lives have been affected by Non Communicable Disease (NCDs). The very fact that government has recognized public health as a major concern is a point that benefits all strata of consumers.
With the Act in place, it is the time for implementation in coordination with various government departments. 2020 will be a busy year for Consumer VOICE as we will focus on awareness and sensitization. It is up to civil society organizations to take their voices to the right levels so that significant gains can be made in the area of consumer health, wealth and safety.
Wishing all our friends a Very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2020 from Consumer Voice family !
For other articles by Consumer VOICE COO’s Desk, click here