GUWAHATI, Feb 6 � �The responsibility of protecting the rights of a consumer does not just lie with the government and the consumers� rights forums. First of all, a consumer must be informed enough to protect his own rights. One must insist on having the bill with particulars of the purchased items.�
While addressing the media today, Pankaj Agarwala, IAS, Additional Secretary, Government of India, Ministry of Consumers� Affairs stressed that there should be the provisions of punishment and deterrence against the violators of consumers rights to give more teeth to the Consumer Protection Act, 1986..
He also said that there is a need of awareness and alertness among the consumers to protect their own rights. �The parents must also teach their children to check the MRP, expiry date of the product, ingredients etc. People have a blind faith that a particular shopkeeper would not sell them a substandard item and they do not insist on taking the bill or checking the particulars of the items,� he said.
Earlier, he gave the inaugural address in the 4th regional seminar on misleading advertisements and impact on consumers. The seminar was organized by the Ministry of Consumers Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Government of India and Food, Civil Supplies and Consumers� Affairs department of Assam at NEDFi House, Guwahati.
The regional seminars are being organized by the Ministry of Consumers Affairs, Food and Public Distribution as a part of a wide-ranging consultation to conceptualize a comprehensive legal regime to prohibit and regulate misleading advertisements.
False and misleading advertisements violate several basic rights of the consumers including the right to choose, the right to be protected against unsafe goods and services as well as unfair trade practices.
An advertisement is termed deceptive when it misleads people, alters the reality and affects the purchasing behaviour of the consumers.
�Prior to drawing up policy for a new legislation, it is essential to evolve a holistic, consensual and comprehensive approach keeping in view the increase in media penetration in recent days,� he added.