The Centre’s bid to streamline direct selling business in the country has started bearing fruit with as many as 124 companies informing the government that they fully follow the guidelines issued by it.

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, headed by Ram Vilas Paswan, issued the guidelines earlier in order to bring about transparency in the business. This was done in the wake of chit fund and Ponzi scams that also affected the businesses of genuine companies involved in this trade. Eureka Forbes, Tupperware, Oriflame, Amway, Hindustan Unilever, Modicare are some of the major companies that are conducting their businesses through the direct selling method.

A major highlight of the guidelines is that the companies in the direct selling business would not charge any fee at the time of joining. Also, the companies will have to give the product specification guarantees at the time of purchase of their products. This means the consumers will have the right to return the product if its quality is not as per the specifications.

After the guidelines were issued, the companies were asked to give an affidavit to the Ministry saying they will fully follow the guidelines. Subsequently, 124 companies have submitted their affidavits to the Ministry.

President of the Direct Selling Distributors Welfare Association (DSDWA), Surender Vats, said that it is definitely a positive step which will bring transparency in the business and thus will attract more consumers. However, there is a lot to be done, especially in terms of monitoring whether or not the guidelines are properly followed.

“Also, though the Centre has issued the guidelines, it is not mandatory for the states to implement them. Therefore, we are impressing upon the state governments to adopt these guidelines so that these are implemented at the state level,” added Vats.

While Chhattisgarh has become the first state to adopt these guidelines, other states like UP, Rajasthan, Bihar have also started the process to adopt the guidelines.

Direct selling business started in India some 24 years ago and has now grown much in size. Presently, there are about 7 crore people associated with it. However, this modern business is still being governed by the Acts of 1872, 1930 and 1978.Now to give justice to the modern methods of businesses, all these Acts and rules should be reviewed.

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