Reason for slow growth of consumer movement in India
The reasons for the slow growth of consumer movement in India may be discussed under the following headings:
- Poverty and illiteracy
- Apathy of the affluent and literate
- Ineffective organization of consumers
- Absence of severe punishment
- Poor implementation of laws
- Ignorance consumers
- Cumbersome legal procedures.
1. Poverty and illiteracy: A vast majority of people in India lives below the poverty line. So, they are not aware of their rights as consumers. They struggle to make both their ends meet and their purchasing power is very low Because of lack of education, their awareness level about their rights is almost nil.
2. Apathy of the affluent and literate: The indifference of the affluent society and the educated lot is another reason for the slow growth. Though such people hold responsible positions in society, they do not come forward to take up the social cause for the affected ‘ consumers.
3. Ineffective organization of consumers: Consumers in India are not united through formal organizations. Most of the consumers are still reluctant to express their grievances. Moreover, only local problems are attended to and its extension to national level needs a more rigorous public support. Participation of the general public is indifferent and lukewarm. Though the consumer movement is strengthening its roots in India, its rate of growth is rather slow.
4. Absence of severe punishment: In most of the cases, disputes will be relating to price, quality (including adulteration) and under weight. The penalty for such offenses should be severe. Absence of severe punishment encourages unscrupulous traders to indulge in unfair practices.
5. Ignorance of consumers: The most unfortunate aspect with Indian consumers is that they are ignorant of their rights as consumers. They are not better informed about the developments in the market, nor they are aware of various legislation protecting their rights. Consumers meekly accept what is thrust on them.
6. Cumbersome legal process: Though some consumers are aware of their legal protection, they do not resort to it. Elaborate formalities of legal procedure dissuade them to pursue legal remedy.