Bhubaneswar: Consumer’s interest being paramount must be protected in the entire operation of direct selling business, stated Minister of Food Supplies & Consumer Welfare Ranendra Pratap Swain .
The consumer must be given sufficient opportunity to scrutinize the products of a direct seller, he added.
Addressing the Odisha Direct Selling Conference organized by Indian Direct Selling Association in Bhubaneswar today Swain said that Indian Direct Selling Association should provide all information to the State government regarding direct selling entities, direct sellers operating in the State, their local contacts, official address, the extent of their workforce and their products so that it will enable the consumer to distinguish between fraud and genuine sellers.
The State Government is working on setting up a mechanism, as provided under the direct selling rules recently framed by the Government of India, to monitor and supervise the activities of the direct selling entities and direct sellers and protect the interest of the consumers, informed Swain .
“All that glitters is not gold. Consumers should scrutinise everything and should not be swayed away by misleading promises. Indian Direct Selling Association must ensure product quality and ethical standards in the direct selling business,” he said.
State Institute of Consumer Awareness and the consumer counseling centers operating in the State will create consumer awareness regarding direct selling business, he added.
The Minister warned that if any entity or sellers resort to a pyramidal scheme in the guise of direct selling, the same won’t be tolerated.
“Such entity or seller must be taken to task. State Government has zero tolerance towards such activities where the consumer becomes a victim of any fraud or illegal business activities,” the Minister asserted.
Addressing the conference Speaker of Odisha Legislative Assembly Surya Narayan Patra said that protection of consumer interest and direct selling business must go hand in hand and product quality must be ensured.
Prof. Bijon Mishra, Advisor, Consumer Welfare, Government of Odisha, said direct selling business must grow, but at the same time, they must win the trust and confidence of the consumers.
Chairman of Indian Direct Selling Association Rajat Banerjee said that Odisha continues to be a key market for direct selling industry with double-digit growth of over 13% per cent.
Odisha was the 5th largest market for the industry during financial year 2020-21, Banerjee added.