Sunday, November 23, 2014

Consumer Protection Act: Features and Objectives

Features of Consumer Protection Act are:
a)      The Act applies to all goods and services unless specially exempted by Union Government.
b)      It covers all sectors – public, private or cooperative.
c)       Provisions of the Act are compensatory in nature.
d)      It contains all consumers’ rights - to choose, to be heard, to be informed, to safety, education and redressal.
e)      It empowers consumers seeking discontinuance of trader’s malpractices, defective goods, service deficiencies or withdrawal of hazardous goods from the market.

The main objective of the act is to provide for better protection of consumers. Unlike existing laws which are punitive or preventive in nature, the provisions of this Act are compensatory in nature. The act is intended to provide simple, speedy and inexpensive redressal to the consumers' grievances, and reliefs of a specific nature and award of compensation wherever appropriate to the consumer.

The objectives of the Consumer Protection Act are as follows:
a)      To assist countries in achieving or maintaining adequate protection for their population as consumers;
b)      To facilitate production and distribution patterns responsive to the needs and desires of consumers;
c)       To encourage high levels of ethical conduct for those engaged in the production and distribution of goods and services to consumers;
d)      To assist countries in curbing abusive business practices by all enterprises at the national and international levels which adversely affect consumers;
e)      To facilitate the development of independent consumer groups;
f)       To further international cooperation in the field of consumer protection;

g)      To encourage the development of market conditions which provide consumers with greater choice at lower prices.