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Protect Consumer Interest; Minister

Bhubaneswar: Consumer’s interest being paramount must be protected in the entire operation of direct selling business. Consumers must be given sufficient opportunity to scrutinise the products of direct sellers,  said Minister, Food Supplies & Consumer Welfare and Cooperation Ranendra Pratap Swain here on Saturday.

Addressing the Odisha Direct Selling Conference organised by Indian Direct Selling Association in Bhubaneswar, Swain said that Indian Direct Selling Association should provide all information to the State Government regarding to the direct selling entities and direct sellers operating in the state about their local contacts, official address, extent of their workforce and their products so that it will enable the consumer to distinguish between fraud and genuine sellers.

“The State Government is working on setting up a mechanism, as provided under the direct selling rules recently framed by Government of India, to monitor and supervise the activities of the direct selling entities and direct sellers and protect the interest of the consumers,” said Mr.Swain adding, “All that glitters is not gold. Consumers should scrutinise everything and should not be swayed away with misleading promises.”

The Minister said that the Indian Direct Selling Association must ensure product quality and ethical standards in the direct selling business.

The State Institute of Consumer Awareness and the consumer counselling centres operating in the State will create consumer awareness regarding direct selling business, said Swain.

The Food Supply & Consumer Affairs Minister said in the guise of direct selling if any entity or sellers take resort to pyramidal schemes, the same cannot be tolerated.

“Such entity or seller must be taken to task, ” said  Mr.Swain. The State Government has zero tolerance towards such activities where the consumer people become victims of any fraud or illegal business activities,” he said.

Addressing the conference Surya Narayan Patra, Speaker, Odisha Legislative Assembly said protection of consumer interest and direct selling business must go hand in hand and product quality must be ensured.

Bijon Mishra, Advisor, Consumer Welfare said direct selling business must grow, but at the same time, they must win the trust and confidence of the consumers.

Chairman, Indian Direct Selling Association Rajat Banerjee said Odisha continues to be a key market for the direct selling industry.

With a double digit growth of over 13% in percent, he said and added, “Odisha is the 5th largest market for the Industry during F.Y. 2020-21.”

Chetan Bhardwaj, General Manager, IDSA said that the State Government while selling up the mechanism may have consultation with IDSA, to regulate the direct selling business in Odisha.