Government drafting law on direct selling businesses to protect consumers

 NEW DELHI: The Centre today said it is drafting a policy on the direct-selling industry to address the concerns of consumers and strengthen the credibility of the sector that is providing huge employment opportunity. 

The industry sells various consumer products directly to customers rather than via retail shops.

"We support the Direct Selling Industry. At the present moment, we are drafting a new consumer policy that would encompass new market practices,"
Consumer Affairs SecretaryPankaj Agarwala said at a FICCI event here.

New market practices like money back guarantee, cooling off period and return policies would be incorporated in the policy to strengthen the credibility of this market, he said.

Agarwala said it was necessary to adapt best marketing practices in the integrated global market.

Indian Direct Selling Association (ISDA) Chairman Amarnath Sengupta said direct selling has moved beyond cosmetics to include technology products, herbal medicine to garments.

He sought a separate regulation to govern this fast growing industry as it has the potential to grow Rs 10,844 crore by 2015, from Rs 6,385 crore currently.

Besides a separate law, ISDA said there is a need to give definitional and operational clarity to this industry. That apart, it also sought removal of the industry from the ambit of Prize Chits and Money Circulation Scheme (Banning) Act 1978.