Consumers need to be aware of the choices available to them.
The Consumer Protection Act enacted in 1986, independent departments of consumer affairs were formed in the Central and state governments. The departments regularly put out advertisements in newspapers and magazines, and on television to make consumers conscious of their rights. Several agencies like BIS, Hallmark and Agmark test the quality of various products sold in the market.
Only products that pass the test of quality are certified. For products that are crucial from a health or safety angle, certification is mandatory or compulsory. 24th December, 1986, is celebrated as the National Consumer Day.
There are over 700 consumer groups in the country, but only about 30 of them work efficiently. The process of redress might be difficult as consumers do not often take cash memos, and hence it is very difficult to prove anything conclusively against the wrongdoings of shopkeepers. The laws relating to compensation are often vague and their enforcement is weak. The progress in consumer awareness has been slow, but positive.