We, the consumers, exist in an environment where we can be easily fooled or taken advantage of. Hence, each one of us needs to understand our ‘Rights’ so that the market players do not cheat us. We should not be negligent but alert. To propagate the consumer movement, ‘World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) is an important step to spread awareness about these simple-looking yet major concerns of the consumers.
• Significance of WCRD
This Day is observed every year on March 15. The aim of marking this Day is to recognize the Rights of the consumers and act upon it. These rights must be respected, protected and taught to the consumers, irrespective of their background.
• Themes over the years
WCRD has unique themes every year. This year, Consumer International has allotted the theme, “Tackle Plastic Pollution”. To address this issue, the consumer forum encourages the consumers to follow the ‘7 Rs’. The ‘7 Rs’ are replacing, rethinking, refusing, reducing, reusing, recycling and repairing.
The previous years’ themes are as follows:-
2015: Helping Consumers choose Healthy Diets
2016: Antibiotics off the menu
2017: Building a Digital World Consumers can Trust
2018: Making Digital Marketplaces Fairer
2019: Trusted Smart Products
2020: The Sustainable Consumer
John F. Kennedy, the 35th American President, influenced the WCRD. In fact, he was the first world leader to send a special message highlighting the consumers’ needs to the US Congress on March 15, 1962. He mentioned, ‘Consumers, by definition, include us all. They are the largest economic group, affecting and affected by almost every public and private economic decision. Yet, they are the only important group…whose views are often not heard.’ Later on, this consumer movement gained momentum since 1983.
• News from India
1) Piyush Goyal’s official tweet
Piyush Goyal, the Minister of Railways of India, took to Twitter to assure the Indian consumers that the government is doing all that it can to address their queries and ensure their safety.
2) Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Ministry Of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI)
MOSPI, set up in 1999, is inclined towards the release of reliable and authenticated statistical data. CPI is a concept that measures monthly changes in the prices of a range of products. MOSPI plays a major role in determining this concept. CPI assists in measuring inflation and also provides an idea about the cost of living to an individual.
On September 26, 2020, MOSPI stated the following six factors which affect the collection and presentation of monthly data:-
i) Food and Beverages;
iv) Fuel and Lights;
v) Clothing and Footwear;
vi) Pan Tobacco and Intoxicants
3) Consumer Protection Act, 2019 (CPA, 2019)
CPA, 2019 was implemented w.e.f. July 20, 2020 by the Indian Parliament. It repealed and replaced the old CPA, 1986.
You can read more about the Act from our article on the same topic: Click Here.