Govt. will consider suggestion for separate law to regulate the Direct Selling Sector: C.R. Chaudhary, MoS Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution
22 November, 2017
MoS for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, C.R. Chaudhary said the government will consider industry’s suggestion to draft a separate law to regulate the direct selling sector. Speaking at ASSOCHAM’s International Conference on Direct Selling, he reported that the guidelines have been adopted in Sikkim and Chhattisgarh while Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu are in the process of implementing them. He also added, however that the states cannot be forced to adopt these. Chairman, Consumer Affairs Council, ASSOCHAM Vijay Sardana, pointed out that programmes like Start-Up India cannot take off without strengthening direct selling. He observed that the government had taken many initiatives to promote production but there is nothing to promote marketing. A law then is important to bring clarity and create an enabling environment for direct selling. Registrar and Law Professor, NSLIU Bangalore, Dr. O.V. Nandimath mentioned that while the model guidelines are being adopted in principle in some states there is no certainty as to whether implementation is a priority. Professor, ICRIER, Dr. Arpita Mukherjee pointed out that retail is a state subject. Given the current political scenario however, if the centre was convinced it would not be difficult to reach out to the states. Attracting the attention of the Government would require a report highlighting the impact of direct Selling on job creation or employment, for instance. Industry needs to supplement such a report with quality data. She also suggested that it is pragmatic for industry to identify specific areas of improvement in the guidelines with regards to non-store format sales. The event also witnessed the release of a background paper titled Direct Selling: Need for Policy and Regulatory Framework. Prominent dignitaries that participated in the conference included Senior Managing Committee Member, ASSOCHAM and CMD, SMC Group, SC Aggarwal; Managing Director, Vestige Marketing Pvt. Ltd. Gautam Bali; Public Policy Expert and Founder, EBS India Inc. Chavi Hemanth; Executive Director, Association for Direct Selling in Ecuador, Maria Fernanda Leon Moreno; Principal Resident Commissioner Government of Tamil Nadu, Jasbir Singh Bajaj and Secretary General, ASSOCHAM, DS Rawat among many other industry experts.