New Delhi: Parliament on Tuesday passed
the Consumer Protection Bill 2019 that seeks to address the issues of
false and misleading advertisements and set up a national regulator to
address consumer complaints, paving the way for strengthening of
Replying to the debate, Food and Consumer
Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said he would consider additional
suggestions for consumer protection while framing the rules under the
On Derek O'Brien's (TMC) suggestion to refer the
Bill to select committee, the Minister said it had already incorporated
suggestions by the standing committee and extensive consultations had
Amendments moved by members of various parties were defeated.
The Bill also promises to address the issues related to defects in goods and deficiency in services.
the Bill, Paswan said it provided for penalising manufacturer for not
adhering to the promised quality and standards. Celebrities endorsing a
product should only go by the standards and features, and should not
promise anything else on their own, he added.
The Bill provides
for product liability action on account of defective items. In certain
cases, class action can also be initiated against companies for recall,
refund and return of defective products.
Apart from setting up
consumer courts at the district, state and national levels, the Bill
proposes the central consumer protection authority (CCPA) to promote,
protect and enforce consumer rights as a class. The CCPA will protect
consumers from unfair trade practices and can also take suo moto action
against false and misleading advertisements.
debate, K.C. Ramamurthy (Congress) said the aim of the Bill was to
regulate e-commerce for protection of online consumers as this did not
feature in the 1986 Act. The bill had certain broad loopholes with
regards to e-commerce, he added.
Vijay Goel (BJP) stressed more
consumer awareness and said, with consumers becoming aware of their
rights more complaints would come for redressal and hence a mechanism
should be in place to deal with them.
Stating that the Bill does
not address the issues related to maximum retail price (MRP), Goel said
it was a tool to loot consumers. Instead of MRP, the products must
display minimum retail price, he said and added, "At times, MRPs are
printed factoring in 300 per cent margin."
Manoj Jha (RJD) said
disclaimer at the end of advertisements for mutual funds and other
financial products were not audible and demanded measures to make people
aware of risks associated with them.