Consumers play a vital role in the economy of a nation. The earlier approach of “Caveat Emptor” means “Let the buyer beware” changed to “Caveat Venditor” means “Let the seller beware”.
Now, in a competitive economy, to increase the sales & market share, manufactures may use exploitative and unfair trade practices like defective and unsafe products, adulteration, false and misleading advertising, hoarding, black-marketing etc. Thus, there is a need for providing adequate protection to consumers due to such sellers.
Need/ Importance of Consumer Protection
From Consumers point of view
1. Consumers Ignorance
In the light of widespread ignorance of consumers about their rights & reliefs available to them, it becomes necessary to educate them about the same so as to achieve consumers’ awareness.
2. Unorganized consumers
Consumers need to be organized in the form of consumer organization which would take care of their interests.
3. Widespread exploitation of consumers
Consumers are exploited by exploitative & unfair trade practices like unsafe & defective products, fake advertisements, less weights etc. Consumers need protection against such practices.
From Business point of view
4. Social Responsibility
Business is socially responsible to serve the interest of consumers. So it is the duty of producers and traders to provide right quality and quantity of goods at fair prices to the consumers.
5. Increasing Awareness
Consumers are becoming more conscious of their rights against the malpractices by the business as there are many consumer organizations and associations taking up their cases at various levels and helping them to enforce their rights.
6. Consumer Satisfaction
Consumer is the king of the market as consumers’ satisfaction is the key to success of business. So, the businessmen should make the best efforts to serve the interests of consumers by providing them quality goods and services at reasonable price.
7. Social Justice
Exploitation of consumers is against the directive principles of state policy as laid down in the Constitution of India, thus manufacturers and traders as well as service providers should not act against the consumers’ interest.
According to Gandhian philosophy, manufactures and producers are not the real owners of the business but are merely the trustees of the resources supplied by the society. So, they should use such resources effectively for the benefit of the society, which includes the consumers.
9. Survival and Growth of Business
In today’s global economy and increased competition, no business organization that indulges in malpractices shall find it difficult to continue. They must become aware of consumer protection in their own long run interest.