New Delhi, May 27 (ANI): President Pratibha Patil today emphasized the need for strong consumer protection measures in the face of aggressive marketing strategies being used by manufacturers and service providers.
President Patil said this while inaugurating the plenary meeting of the Committee for Consumer Policies (COPOLCO) of the International Standards Organisation.
While aggressive marketing results in creating wider choices for consumers, the President said, "It makes them vulnerable and often they are ill-equipped to make rational choices on account of the fact that they do not have full or correct information about new technologies that enter the market.
"To protect them from trade and business related disinformation, consumers must be made aware about the quality of products and of possible deficiencies in services," she added.
The President called for strengthening the standards systems at national and international levels.
"In a globalised world, companies are producing the same product in over one country or have a process of production, where various components are produced in different countries and, thereafter, these parts are assembled in a country not involved in the manufacturing of parts. In such a scenario, countries should look at a coordinated approach to meet the needs of the consumer satisfactorily by developing standards that take into account their concerns," she said.
"In an interlinked world, it is equally important to expeditiously conclude mutual recognition agreements of standards between countries to promote international trade and to enable faster movement of goods," she added.
Minister for Agriculture, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Sharad Pawar, said that standardization help both consumers and the industry. The relationship between the consumers on the one hand and the industry and business on the other has to be seen as a non-antagonistic relationship.
He also highlighted the key role of standardization in a country's economy.
"From a national perspective, India recognize the need for a strong framework of regulation to protect the interest of consumers. Apart from the benefit that it directly brings to the consumers, higher standards of manufacturing and service delivery help to make the country more competitive. Therefore, consumer protection and emphasis on quality and standards are an integral part of any development strategy," he said.
Speaking on the growth of consumer movement in India, Pawar said that in the year 2008 about 1.91 lakh cases were filed in different consumer courts in the country and about 1.68 lakh cases were disposed off.
"The Government is supporting consumer courts by giving grants for infrastructure development," he added. (ANI)