NCERT Class 10 Economics Chapter 5: Consumer Rights Complete Notes Part 1

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Consumer Rights

Role Players of Market

Image of Producers and Customers

Image of Producers and Customers

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Now when we talk about the market they are two role players the producers and the customers.

We can say the producer are basically focusing on two sectors the organized sectors and unorganized sector, so the producers who are working with the organized sector have a kind of protected job, however there is job security with the unorganized sector. It is important to protect the labor in the unorganized sector, on the another hand you have customers or consumers who are the driving forces so these consumers try to use the product from the producers and if there is a kind of satisfaction in the quality demanded that is not meet it leads to consumer redressal, that they need to work around so they need to work for their own rights.

Consumer Movement – Why?

  • Dissatisfaction over trade practices

  • No legal system to protect exploitation

  • Shifted responsibility of ensuring quality goods and services

  • Adulteration

  • Food shortage

  • Hoarding & black marketing

  • Till 1970s – wrote articles & exhibitions

  • Formed consumer groups by overcrowding ration shops

  • Started as social force – to protect and promote consumers

As a result you have the consumer movement that started, now as we said first of all the major reason is the satisfaction. If there is no satisfaction with the customers or the consumers, a drive against the producers over the illegal trade practices. So there should be a kind of legal system to protect them off. Later in 1950, there was no legal system that protected the consumer in the market. Now again there is shift in the responsibility to ensure the quality of goods and services. Let’s say I’m buying a pack of Amul milk from a shop now of this pouch is rotten for any case and not in the perfect condition, what I should do? I would tell the shopkeeper but is he the right person? He is obviously not the right person. Who is directly responsible to it? It would be the Amul factory.

So what?

Does that mean there is a kind of shift in the responsibility which takes place in the role of quality of the services and the goods that are being provided. Again adulteration in case of food items, you have holding you have black marketing of the supply that goes into the PDS. All the supply that goes into the public distribution system at a subsidized price is landed into the open market at a higher price and there is a kind of profit that is generated by the middlemen and to rule out all these you have the customer movement that started. So it was an idea to curb the black marketing and the holding to work on the existing food shortages. Till 1970, the major wave was writing articles, holding exhibition and showing your revenge in one from or the other, however, later consumer groups were formed and these consumer groups tried to do only thing and work around overcrowding the existing place.

Let’s say if a ration shop which is providing the PDS commodity, the public distribution through the public distribution chain, the fair price shop whatever is they would overcrowd that saying that there has been malpractices going on at your ration shop but of this is not how consumer should really go, as a result there was a kind of social force that started and social movements came up.

Consumer Movement

  • 1985 – UN laid guidelines for consumer protection

  • Consumer International – more than 240 organizations and 100 nations

  • 1986 – Consumer Protect Act (called COPRA) in India

Social movement came up with the idea to protect the customers. So 1985 United Nations laid down the guidelines for protection of consumers. Under this Consumer International was established which included 240 organizations across 100 nations and as a result of this in India the drive came into force. It was known as COPRA (Consumer Protection Act) and it was launched in 1986. The basic idea was creating awareness in the consumers so let’s say if I am joining coaching institute for some competitive examination. I’m doing a lump sum down payment of some Rs. 60,000. Now this was for a period of 2 years but after 6 month I realized that the teaching in that coaching institute is not at par and I do not want to be associated with this coaching institute. So I go to the staff and say refund back the money for six months and refund to me the remaining amount. Now this coaching institute denies the refund what would happens as a customer I have the right to approach the consumer court so this is how you have a kind of basic framework where and how to apply or how the consumer can fight for their rights.