Home Current Affairs Know your rights on World Consumer Rights Day 2021

Know your rights on World Consumer Rights Day 2021

The theme for Consumer Rights Day 2021 is 'Tackling Plastic Pollution'. It is observed today to enable consumers across the world to fight for their rights and social injustices.

New Delhi, March 15, 2021: Every year, World Consumer Rights Day is observed today to enable consumers across the world to fight for their rights and social injustices. It highlights the power that rests in the hands of consumers and intends to empower them.

Theme of Consumers Rights Day 2021

The World Consumer Rights Day 2021 theme is to gather all the consumers in a fight to “Tackle Plastic Pollution”.

Currently, the world is fighting a battle against plastic pollution. Plastic, a material that constitutes almost every object in the day-to-day life of humans, takes years to decompose and has an adverse impact on the environment. Plastic pollution affects the health of humans and harms animals as well.

This year, the consumers international portal gathered photographs to show how the 7 ‘R’s play an important role in tackling plastic pollution. The 7 Rs refer to replace, rethink, refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, and repair. 

The Director-General of Consumers International, Helena Leurent said in a message, “Plastic pollution is one of the most pressing issues facing our planet. Consumer awareness of the plastics crisis is growing around the world. Consumers have a critical role in shaping the marketplace , and we must support them to mobilise businesses and governments, to ensure sustainable consumption is accessible to all.”

Consumer Rights Day, Going back in time

The World Consumer Rights Day was inspired by former President of United States John F Kennedy. In India, the consumer movement started in 1966 from Maharashtra.

After the establishment of the Grahak Panchayat in Pune in 1974, institutions for consumer welfare were formed in many states and this movement continued to grow. On December 9, 1986, the Consumer Protection Bill was passed on the initiative of the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and came into force nationwide after the President’s signature. In 2020, July 20,

Last year, an amendment in this law was made to make customers more empowered, competent.  The Central Government has made several major changes in the Consumer Protection Act. After the enactment of the new consumer law, the accountability of companies and artists who advertise for them has become more than ever. The government has also included e-commerce companies under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 (Consumer Protection Act, 2019).

Image: Pinterest

Consumer Rights in India

Under the new rule, consumers can now file a complaint in any commission. Earlier, the case used to be registered only where the goods manufacturing company’s office was situated.

Now, the provision of punishment and fine has also been applied to celebrities for misleading advertisements. In such a situation, celebrities now choose advertisements after thinking very carefully.

 Even the e-commerce companies have been included in the new law. That is, now online shoppers do not have to depend on customer care for the product or service, they can also register their complaint.

The seller will also be under the purview of this law. If a shopkeeper is selling goods at more than the fixed MRP, then legal action is possible against him. In fact, the food items have also been brought under the purview of this law. That is, there is a provision of fine and jail on companies for adulteration of food and drink. Sentence of 6 months in case of adulteration, while death of a customer due to adulteration can be punishable with life imprisonment.

Complaint handling

Earlier, up to Rs 20 lakhs at the district level, Rs 1 crore at the state level, while complaints of more than this amount could be heard at the national level. Now, the District Commission has gone up to Rs 1 crore, the State Commission will hear cases of funds up to Rs 10 crores, while complaints of higher value cases can be appealed at the national level.

Right to information to the consumer

Under the Right to information to the customer, he can get information about the product or service, such as information about the quantity, capacity, quality, purity, level and price of the item.

 Also, it has been made mandatory for the company to redress any problem or inconvenience of the customer.

Also Read: National Consumer Rights Day and the need for a Sustainable Consumer

Written by: Sugyani Mohapatra


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