- 1 When is National Consumer Day
- 2 All About National Consumer Day 2021 India
- 2.1 Significant Events on National Consumer Day
- 2.2 What is the Consumer Protection Act
- 2.3 Objectives of the Consumer Protection Act
- 2.4 Responsibilities of the Consumer:
- 2.5 Rights of the Customer:
- 2.6 Consumer Protection Act 2019:
- 2.7 Key Features of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019:
- 2.8 Why is National Consumer Day 2021 Important?
- 2.9 Related
When is National Consumer Day
|National Consumer Day Week day||National Consumer Day Date||National Consumer Day Year|
All About National Consumer Day 2021 India
Every one of you must have bought a good or product from some store or supermarket or mall. Have you ever thought about what would happen if you got duped by the store or didn’t receive the product even after paying the total amount for it? These activities are often considered commonplace in Indian stores, and most of the time, no help is provided to the consumer.
So, anyone will expect some solution to this, right? Any person with the right mind knows that consumers are significant for any economy to progress. Indian legislators were worried about this and thus came up with the Consumer Protection Act on 24 December 1986.
This act proved to be one of the most important laws in our country’s history, and to commemorate this day, the government decided to call it National Consumer Day and to celebrate the day as a means to spread awareness among consumers about their rights while buying or consuming any good/service.
National Consumer Rights Day is celebrated across India with a specific theme every year. In 2020, the theme was ‘Sustainable Customer’, and the Consumer Affairs Ministry shall pick the theme for 2021.
The National Consumer Day/National Consumer Rights Day is meant to spread awareness to consumers about their rights, responsibilities and their importance in the market. The government is carrying out judicial action based on the Consumer Rights Act 2019.
Significant Events on National Consumer Day
- National, state, and local governments hold awareness programs:
The government of India, along with state and local governments, hold events and programs on consumer awareness every year. These events often have skits that revolve around the rights of the consumer. Last year, the Department of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Consumer Affairs Food and Public Distribution jointly held a virtual event that focused on explaining the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act 2019.
- Events in Schools, Colleges and Universities: National Consumer Rights Day is celebrated in many schools and universities to spread awareness among their students about their rights while buying any product or situation where they might get duped.
National Consumer Day 2021 will be celebrated with similar programs with the addition of precautions during the pandemic and lockdown.
You must have seen some ads on TV where the phrase “Jago Grahak Jago”(Wake Up, Consumer!) is sung after showing a skit about a customer who the shopkeeper dupes. Still, the customer makes use of the rights provided to him by the Consumer Protection Act. This is a basic example of the government spreading awareness about the Consumer Protection Act.
The Ministry of Consumer Affairs is charged with maintaining trust between the consumer and the seller. The ministry is also instrumental in coming up with laws to protect the consumer from frauds and scams.
What is the Consumer Protection Act
The Consumer Protection Act was enacted in 1986 on December 24. It focuses on giving powers to the consumers. It facilitates compensation for the consumer in case of flaws in the goods and services procured by them. The act also protects the consumer against any illegal trade practices of the sellers.
The Consumer Protection Bill, 2019 is the latest addition to the Consumer Protection Act.
Objectives of the Consumer Protection Act
- To protect and preserve the rights given to the consumer in this act.
- To provide the consumer with speedy and proper redressal through a judicial system based on District, State and National levels.
Responsibilities of the Consumer:
- Responsibility to be aware: any customer needs to be mindful of the quality of the product he/she is purchasing before making the purchase. The customer should be mindful before buying any good.
- Responsibility to make independent choices: the consumer should not be biased from other factors when consuming any product. He/She should be able to make independent decisions about the purchase of any product. The consumer should think about what they want and require.
- Responsibility to speak out: Any consumer should be fearless in expressing their grievances to the seller. The consumer should also tell the seller exactly what they want and speak up if the good/service does not meet their requirements.
- Responsibility to complain: It is the responsibility of the consumer to file a legitimate complaint with the concerned authority in a fair manner if any dissatisfaction arises after the purchase of a good or service.
- Responsibility to be an ethical customer: along with the seller, a consumer is also expected to not carry out deceptive practices.
Rights of the Customer:
- Right to Safety: A consumer has the right to safe products. A customer is also protected against the marketing of harmful goods and services. The goods and services should not just fulfil short-term needs but also come in handy in the long-term.
The consumer is also responsible for making sure the quality of products before purchasing. It is also suggested to buy products with ISI or AGMARK rating.
- Right to Choose: This right enables the consumer the freedom to choose between different goods and services which are available at competitive prices. This right is applicable for monopolistic markets, where the majority takes control of the market.
The consumer can decide which goods and services to buy which are of satisfactory quality and available at reasonable prices.
- Right to be informed: The consumer has the right to have information about the quality, quantity, price, purity, potency and standard of any good/service. This right is enforced to protect the consumer from unfair trade practices. The consumer should also try to get information about the product before purchasing any product.
This will help in acting responsibly and buying a product with low chances of fraud.
- Right to consumer education: It means the right to acquire the knowledge and skill to become an informed customer throughout life and not make any rash decisions while purchasing products. The main reason behind the exploitation of consumers, mainly rural consumers, is their ignorance.
Real consumer protection will only be enforced if the consumer is educated about his/her rights. They should also know how to exercise those rights.
- Right to be heard: It means that the consumer’s interests will have consideration if brought forward in appropriate forums. The right also provides the customer with the ability to have appropriate representation in various forums.
The consumers can also form non-political organizations to represent themselves in front of various committees of the government.
- Right to Seek Redressal: It provides the consumers the right to redressal against unfair trade practices and also includes the right to fair settlement of the genuine grievances of the consumer.
The consumer needs to make complaints for their grievances. The complaint may be of small monetary value but its impact on society is often much more. The consumers have the right to take their grievances to government bodies made for consumers. Since the markets are globalizing, it is difficult for the consumer to seek redressal from sellers due to the large geographical gap. For this, the act has set up Consumer Disputes Redressal Agencies (also known as consumer courts) at district, state and national levels.
These agencies are set up to provide inexpensive and straightforward redressal against consumer complaints. The district-level consumer courts deal with complaints that are less than 23 lakhs. This limit is also known as ‘pecuniary jurisdiction’ of the consumer redressal forum. State-level agencies deal with complaints whose monetary value does not exceed one crore, National level agencies deal with complaints regarding goods and services exceeding the threshold of one crore.
The consumer forum has the powers to order the company at fault to take the following actions if found guilty:
- Solve any deficiencies found in their product as per the complaint.
- Repair the defective goods free of charge.
- Provide replacement for the good with a similar or superior good.
- Issue a refund of the price paid by the customer.
- Pay compensation for damages/costs/inconvenience.
- Get the product out of the market altogether.
- Not repeat such unfair trade practices in the future.
- Withdraw inaccurate advertisements and issue corrective advertisements to prevent misrepresentation.
Consumer Protection Act 2019:
The consumer protection act of 2019 was brought into effect to protect the interests of the consumers. The enactment of this act was essential to solve the high amount of pending consumer complaints across India. The act has many methods to help the consumers speedily.
Key Features of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019:
- Establishment of the Central Consumer Protection Authority:
The act provides for the establishment of CCPA for the protection, enforcement and promotion of the rights of the consumers. The CCPA will act for cases related to unfair trade practices, violation of consumer rights or misleading advertisements.
The CCPA has the right to impose penalties and act against the firms which participate in unfair trade practices. They can even call for a withdrawal of defective goods and service and reimbursement of the price paid by the consumers. The CCPA will have a seperate investigation wing that will investigate into such cases, and the Director General will head it.
- Prohibition and Penalty for Misleading Advertisements:
The CCPA has the authority to act against misleading advertisements put forward by the manufacturers and sellers. It can impose fines or even issue imprisonment of 2 years to the manufacturer for putting out such advertisements.
You may have seen nonsensical advertisements that claim to solve monetary issues or bring love to your life. The manufacturers of such products will be held responsible for putting out such ambiguous advertisements. Also, the repeated offense will lead to an imprisonment of 5 years or a fine of 50 lakh rupees.
- Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission: The act also has the provision of the setup of CDRCs at district, state and national levels.
The CDRC will be able to act on complaints regarding:
- Overpricing or deceptive charging.
- Unfair trade practices
- Sale of hazardous products or services which can cause harm to life.
- Sale of defective goods and services.
The CDRCs work on similar systems as the CCPA. The district-level CDRC will have jurisdiction over complaints with a monetary value of up to rupees one crore. The state CDRC will have jurisdiction over complaints worth between one crore and ten crores.
- Broaden the concept of a ‘consumer’: The new act also broadens the concept of a consumer to include any person who buys goods and services on an e-commerce platform or by teleshopping or direct selling or multi-level marketing.
The government of India has also recently made amends in the e-commerce rules,2020. The laws are now applicable to international e-commerce platforms which sell goods in India and prevent them from engaging in unfair trade practices. This ensures that the interests of the consumers are safeguarded.
- Expansion of Pecuniary Jurisdiction: The new act has also enhanced the basis of pecuniary jurisdiction of the district commission from 23 lakhs to 1 crore. The state commission will have jurisdiction of complaints on goods and services with a value between 1 crore and ten crores.
The Consumer Protection Act of 2019 also changes the basis on which the value of goods and services will be decided. Earlier it was based on the value as claimed by the consumer but in the new act, the value of goods and services paid as consideration.
- Territorial Jurisdiction: this feature helps the consumer file a complaint under the jurisdiction he resides in, whereas the earlier act needed the customer to file a complaint in the territory in which the opposite party resides.
- Product Liability: It is defined under section 2(34) of the act and specifies the manufacturer’s responsibility to provide compensation against damages or harm caused by the defective product produced or sold by the manufacturer.
The product liability action can be initiated against a manufacturer if there is a manufacturing defect, variation from manufacturing specifications or improper instructions for its use.
Why is National Consumer Day 2021 Important?
The National Consumer Day 2021 India is an important day for Indians as it focuses on the protection of consumers across the country who may get cheated or deceived by manufacturers and sellers who indulge in unfair trade practices.
National Consumer Day is celebrated on December 24 every year to remind the citizens of India about the powers given to them by the Consumer Protection Act and their rights and responsibilities.
So, in the hopes of having a fair shopping experience without becoming the victim of unfair trade practices, we should celebrate National Consumer Day 2021 by spreading awareness to people around us who may not have the same education as us.