All India Consumer Council (Government Registered Organisation)

The need for consumerism has been primarily due to the indifference of the business community. The main aim of all business is to maximize profit. Consumers have not only been called upon to pay higher prices but also have to settle at a lower quality, spurious, duplicate and adulterated products that are being sold through misleading and powerful advertisement media. Hence, consumerism is required to protect consumer interest. The producer has the power to design the product, distribute, advertise and price it, but the consumer has only the power of not buying it. One may argue that the producer runs his business with greater risks in spite of having several rights because the veto power remains with consumer. However, the consumer often feels that while he has the power of veto, he is not always fully equipped to exercise that power. This situation may be the effect of lack of information, too much indigestible information or even misinformation from one or several competing producers. Consumerism is like any other social movement. It has a big role to play in the world of business and as such it has to be studied.

The important objectives of the consumer movement as are follows:

  1. To restore the balance in the buyer-seller relations in the market place.
  2. To protect and promote the consumer’s interest.
  3. To safeguard consumer right.
  4. To prevent consumer exploitation by unscrupulous traders.
  5. To represent consumer interest before the Government and pressurise the Government to provide meaningful consumer protection through proper legislation.
  6. To organize consumer resistance against unfair trade practices and create a strong public opinion in favour of fair trade practices.
  7. To collaborate with Government and business centres for consumer protection.
  8. To undertake programmes of consumer education.
  9. To ensure consumer-oriented practices of a marketing programme by business enterprises
  10. To redress the affected consumer through Government and non-Government organizations.

Consumer Movement thus represents an organised, collective and united effort to create a buyers’ market for all mass consumption of goods and services.

The Consumer Protection Act of 1986 was by far one of the most thought-provoking and innovative steps to stand up for consumer rights and lead up for their rights. Although the consumer movement has a lot to achieve the existence of the act has stimulated the tion of quite a few good and remarkable consumer organizations in the country. 

The sad part is that majority of the consumers in the country are even unaware of the Consumer Protection Act and subsequent guidelines in the country. While few of the consumers claim that it is because of the lack of these organizations that they are unable to provide proper education which makes them passive and apathetic and blame consumer organizations. There is hardly any unified action and no movement has blossomed in the real sense to male an impact and demonstrate the strength of the consumer protection in India. While the first step is to understand the historical aspect of how consumer protection was even seen in Ancient India, the Mughal period and the Colonial period.

The discussion would sincerely revolve around the length of consumer protection in the country. A comprehensive display of facts and figures is presented along with case law to categorically no highlight the current scenario of consumer protection and allied concept in India. The discussion shall commence from Pre-Independence times till 2020. The text also throws light on the formation of Voluntary Consumer Association (VCA) and its legal aspect supported by Supreme Court Judgements. The discussion would help the readers to lay down a foundation of deep understanding and analytical approach towards consumer protection. Continue to read more…….