The Government of India is in the process of enacting a new Consumer Protection Act keeping in view the business practices and requirements of the country.
The Government of India is in the process of enacting a new Consumer Protection Act keeping in view the business practices and requirements of the country. The proposed Act lays great emphasis on consumer empowerment. Rules are being simplified to ensure that consumer grievances are redressed in a time-bound manner and at least possible cost. This was stated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while inaugurating the two-day International Conference on Consumer Protection for East, South, South East and Asian Nations on the theme ‘Empowering Consumers in New Markets’ in New Delhi on Thursday.
Protection of consumer interests is a priority of the government, Modi said, adding that “this is also reflected in our resolution of the New India. Moving beyond consumer protection, New India will have Best Consumer Practices and Consumer Prosperity.”
While talking about the new Consumer Protection Bill, which is on the top priority of the government, Modi also mentioned several important efforts taken by his government across various sectors like housing, energy, standards, healthcare, pharmaceuticals and medical devices and procedures that have resulted in financial benefits to consumers.
“We have enacted the Real Estate Regulatory Act for the protection of homebuyers. Earlier, consumers waited for years to get the possession of their homes as they would fall prey to unscrupulous builders. There used to be ambiguity regarding the area of the flat. Now after RERA, only registered developers can seek bookings only after getting all the required permissions. Moreover, booking amount has been fixed only at 10 per cent,” he said.
Earlier, builders used to divert the money received for bookings to other projects. Now the government has made a stringent provision that 70 per cent of the payment received from buyers will be kept in an ‘Escrow’ account and this amount will be spent on that project only.
Similarly, the Bureau of Indian Standard Act has also been enacted. Now any commodity or service related to public or consumer interest can be brought under compulsory certification. This Act also has provisions to order recall of substandard products from the market and for compensation in case of loss or damages incurred by the consumer.
Talking about GST, Modi said that recently, India has also implemented GST. After GST, dozens of different types of indirect taxes in the country have been abolished. Many hidden taxes have also gone away. With GST, a new business culture is developing and in the long term consumers will be the biggest beneficiaries.