19th Oct 2019 10:10:PM Editorials
Eastern Sentinel Arunachal News

Even in this so-called age of informed consumerism where there are various provisions to arm buyers with the means to differentiate what is fake and what is genuine, there are occasional news of duping that expose the truth that Indian consumers still continue to remain gullible. Although the recent ‘unearthing’ of duplicate eatables and cosmetics being allegedly sold in Pasighat market by a handful of traders should not be construed as the gross picture in state, as that would tantamount to an unwarranted over-generalization, it has nevertheless pointed out the fact that there is existence of certain elements in society whose greed is perhaps insatiable. For a few bucks more, they can go to the extent of hoodwinking consumers through fakes, even if it means putting their health in peril. With such a scenario, there seems only two options at hand- a more stricter vigil on part of administration and the other on part of consumers themselves who should remain extra alert and discerning.
For safeguarding consumers, there are several laws, rules and regulations in force in the country. Consumer Protection Act, 1986 is the most important one in this context and the new CPA 2019 has been brought with extra teeth to keep in sync with the changing patterns of consumer behaviour and aspirations. Quite a good number of changes have been introduced that has replaced the 33-year old law and most importantly, there will now be a regulatory authority known as the Central Consumer Protection Authority which will enjoy wide powers of investigation into consumer law violations and take suo-moto actions, recall products, order reimbursement of price of goods/services, cancel licenses and so on. With a bouquet of provisions whose necessity had been felt for long, this new Act promises a lot. But the fact is majority of consumers are still unaware of these   and it’s thus necessary to  educate them adequately, since awareness of these new ‘shields of safety’ will go a long way in the actual ground-level implementation of the Act. Legal Metrology Act which deals with discrepancies in MRP and weights of commodities is very much in force. But here too a perceptible lack of consumer awareness is a pan-Indian phenomenon. National food safety regulator, FSSAI brings important regulations from time to time to reinforce existing food safety apparatus. But even if all these efforts, a few dishonest fellow will always be there to cheat.
As proven on numerous occasions before, until it’s a multipronged effort involving government agencies, legal services bodies, NGOs, consumers etc and society at large, true consumer protection will always remain elusive. But the drive must be kept alive and in no way crooks be given opportunities to outsmart consumers.

Kenter Joya Riba

(Managing Editor)
      She is a graduate in Science with post graduation in Sociology from University of Pune. She has been in the media industry for nearly a decade. Before turning to print business, she has been associated with radio and television.
Email: kenterjoyaz@easternsentinel.in / editoreasternsentinel@gmail.com
Phone: 0360-2212313

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