Indian Consumers in the New Age A Forward

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‘Indian Consumers in the New Age: A Forward Looking Agenda to Address the Concerns

‘Indian Consumers in the New Age: A Forward Looking Agenda to Address the Concerns of the Common People’ (Consumers. Up) Key Findings of the Research National Conclave Oct. 11 -12, 2012 IHC, New Delhi

Project Back Ground • On completion of twenty five years of Consumer Protection Act

Project Back Ground • On completion of twenty five years of Consumer Protection Act 1986, there is need for compressive and forward looking Consumer Protection Policy to address emerging consumer issues. • For this CUTS is implementing a one year (Nov. 2011 -Oct. 2012) Project named “Consumer. UP” in partnership with Do. CA, Go. I in four states of India. • As part of the research component consumer survey has been conducted in 19 states and 3 union territories of India to understand the state of Indian consumers. CUTS assigned the task to a professional agency; Insight Development Consulting Group (IDCG) on competitive bidding basis. • The focus of the survey was to assess the level of Knowledge, ü Right to Basic Needs ü Right to Redressal Awareness and Exercise of consumers regarding consumer rights motioned in UN guidelines: ü Right to Safety ü Right to Consumer Education ü Right to be Informed ü Right to be Heard ü Right to Choice ü Right to Healthy Environment 2

Project Approach Enabling environment for protection and promotion of consumer interest contributing towards the

Project Approach Enabling environment for protection and promotion of consumer interest contributing towards the national interest” 1 National Conclave 4 Regional Consultations 8 State level knowledge Enhancement workshops Study on the State of the Indian Consumers For more details, visit: http: //www. cuts- 3

Research Methodology & Coverage • Surveyed 11, 499 (53%Male & 47% Female) consumers following

Research Methodology & Coverage • Surveyed 11, 499 (53%Male & 47% Female) consumers following a Stratified Multi-Stage Sampling Approach in 88 districts, spread across 19 states and 3 union territories of India • Population Proportionate Sampling (PPS) methodology was used to draw a sample representative of the state’s population. – Other factors taken into account in stratifying the sample include: • • Geographical spread Relative literacy rates of districts Rural and urban divide Categories of consumers in term of gender, education and financial status • 385 qualitative samples collected through personal interactions with consumer organizations, redressal bodies, Govt. departments/agencies. • Period of Data Collection- March- June 2012 4

Survey Sample Distribution 5

Survey Sample Distribution 5

Right to Basic Needs (Food, Water, Health, Sanitation, Education, Transport, Communication and energy) •

Right to Basic Needs (Food, Water, Health, Sanitation, Education, Transport, Communication and energy) • 31% respondents believe that the water from these sources is not potable, hence not safe for drinking • Only 24% respondents are aware about government Sanitation Program/schemes. • 77% consumers feel the need of a regulator for private schools. • Only 4% consumers have access to internet. • About 74% of the respondents who tried to access govt. housing finance or bank finance scheme believe that finance is not easily accessible and affordable • Only 44% respondents have reported to receive appropriate quantity of food grains from PDS/FPS on a regular basis. • According to 59% respondents doctors do not generally prescribe generic or competitively priced drugs/medicines. • 26% respondents have travelled more than 5 km to access institutional health care facility. 6

Right to Basic Needs • Only 44% respondents consider cost of obtaining healthcare services

Right to Basic Needs • Only 44% respondents consider cost of obtaining healthcare services affordable • 17% believe that government support for home/community toilet is easily accessible. • Only 62% consumers consider electricity to be affordable. • About 56% of those who use LPG or kerosene as their primary source of energy for cooking have reported incidence of obtaining LPG/kerosene from black market. About 20% of them always obtain LPG or Kerosene from black market. • Only 22% respondents are satisfied with Government’s effort to ensure adequacy, accessibility and affordability of basic needs. • 53% respondents strongly believe that right to basic needs should be enacted as a legal right. 7

Right to Safety • Though about 83% respondents believe that certification and warnings are

Right to Safety • Though about 83% respondents believe that certification and warnings are an important means to ensure right to safety. • But 40% of respondents do not refer to any safety or quality certifications such as ISI, ISO, Agmark, Codex etc. before making a purchase. – ISI is the most known certification – Consumers suggested to make mandatory certification of Acid, Paints, Mosquito Coils, Beverages and Electronic Items. 8

 Right to be Informed Awareness Regarding Consumer Protection Related Laws (%) 9

Right to be Informed Awareness Regarding Consumer Protection Related Laws (%) 9

Awareness Level of Different Legislations Aware Urban Aware Rural 28 19 18 16 15

Awareness Level of Different Legislations Aware Urban Aware Rural 28 19 18 16 15 14 13 12 11 8 4 CPA 1986 W&M 1976 9 8 5 6 So. G 1930 Contract Act Competition FSSA 2006 PSG 2011 1872 2002 4 LM 2009 10

Awareness Level of Different Legislations Aware Male Aware Female 17 12 10 22 9

Awareness Level of Different Legislations Aware Male Aware Female 17 12 10 22 9 16 8 7 12 5 13 5 8 9 9 6 CPA 1986 W&M 1976 So. G 1930 Contract Act Competition FSSA 2006 1872 2002 PSG 2011 LM 2009 11

Right to be Informed Awareness Regarding Regulatory Agencies 40 35 30 25 40 20

Right to be Informed Awareness Regarding Regulatory Agencies 40 35 30 25 40 20 15 26 27 10 25 24 16 16 8 5 0 ERC TRAI FSSAI SEBI IRDA RBI PFRDA FMC 12

Awareness Level of Regulatory Authorities Urban Rural 51 39 38 32 34 30 28

Awareness Level of Regulatory Authorities Urban Rural 51 39 38 32 34 30 28 22 23 22 20 19 12 14 11 4 ERC TRAI FSSAI SEBI IRDA RBI PFRDA FMC 13

Awareness level of Regulatory Authorities Aware Male Aware Female 44 35 33 30 28

Awareness level of Regulatory Authorities Aware Male Aware Female 44 35 33 30 28 23 27 25 26 22 19 18 14 13 8 ERC TRAI FSSAI SEBI IRDA RBI PFRDA 7 FMC 14

Right to Choice • Only few consumers are of aware about competition issues and

Right to Choice • Only few consumers are of aware about competition issues and their importance to protect interests of consumers. • only 1. 6% respondents were able to correctly name at least one product/service which has only one or two producers/providers. • Apart from availability, cost of alternatives, transaction fee, documentation are the main barriers before consumers in choosing alternative service/products. • Consumers believe that there is need to promote more free & fair competition in Aviation, Education, Oil & Gas, Railway and Real –Estate. Products/Services which Should Offer Portability Insurance 15 LPG Connection 17 Electricity 15 School/College Admission 12 Bank Account Number 60 0 50 100 15

Right to Redressal • • 61% normally voice their complaints to seller, at first

Right to Redressal • • 61% normally voice their complaints to seller, at first point When it come to actual situation - 93% respondents have never made a formal complaint Only 0. 3% respondents have approached consumer fora for grievance redressal, 78% have rated the grievance redressal process as “difficult”. – 75% cases were not completely redressed while only 18% of such unresolved cases were taken to a higher authority for redressal. – 67% cases were not redressed within stipulated time frame 0. 1% people have approached sector ombudsman for redressal. Only 18% consumers are fully satisfied with the existing redressal mechanism Only 28% of those who know about external redressal mechanism believe that it is easily accessible by a common man About 89% aggrieved consumers are represented through advocates in SCDRC and DCDRC. 16

Right to Redressal- Major reasons for delay • According to SCDRC/DCDRF, the three major

Right to Redressal- Major reasons for delay • According to SCDRC/DCDRF, the three major reasons for delay in redressal are : – Adjournment Sought by Advocates/ Parties (27%) – Limited/Inadequate Administrative/ Support Staff (19%) – Educational Status of Complainant (11%) • According to Consumer Organisations, the three major reasons for delay in redressal are: – Educational Status of Complainant (16%) – Inadequate Administrative/ Support Staff (14%) – Limited Number of Benches (13%) 17

Right to Consumer Education • Only 42% respondents have heard about consumer rights •

Right to Consumer Education • Only 42% respondents have heard about consumer rights • 78% of such respondents heard about consumer rights from television (TV) Almost 50% of respondents are aware of “Jago Grahak Jago Campaign”. • 80% of such respondents learnt about the campaign from Television. • Close to 50% of those who know about “Jago Grahak Jago” campaign have reported to benefit directly or indirectly from the campaign. 18

Right to be Heard /Consumer Representation • only 23% are aware about the process

Right to be Heard /Consumer Representation • only 23% are aware about the process of public consultation or consumer representation. • In rural area only 18% respondents are aware • About 28% of those who are aware about public consultation or consumer Hurdles in ensuring effective consumer representation/ participation Participation do not result in framing of consumer friendly regulations 5 Date/time and Objective of public consultation are not properly communicated 6 Lack of interest among people to participate 25 Lack of awareness among people 64 0 20 40 60 80 19

Right to Healthy Environment • Only 9% respondents are aware about certifications and initiatives.

Right to Healthy Environment • Only 9% respondents are aware about certifications and initiatives. • Awareness about such certifications is largely among residents of southern (18%) and northern (12%) region, while eastern region has lowest level of awareness (2. 5%). • About 28% respondents those who know about such products always tend to buy such products • About 63% are willing to pay some extra money to buy such products Awareness regarding environmental friendly certifications Yes 9% No 91% 20

Ranking of target States/UTs in term of overall consumer awareness Chandigarh Punjab Gujarat Kerala

Ranking of target States/UTs in term of overall consumer awareness Chandigarh Punjab Gujarat Kerala Karnataka Maharashtra Goa Haryana Delhi Tripura Jharkhand Puducherry Uttar Pradesh Madhya Pradesh West Bengal Chhattisgarh Tamil Nadu Rajasthan Odisha Uttarakhand Andhra Pradesh Bihar Chandigarh, 1 Punjab, 2 Gujarat, 3 Kerala, 4 Karnataka, 5 Maharashtra , 6 Goa, 7 Haryana, 8 Delhi, 9 Tripura, 10 Jharkhand, 11 Puducherry, 12 Uttar Pradesh, 13 Madhya Pradesh, 14 West Bengal, 15 Chhattisgarh, 16 Tamil Nadu , 17 Rajasthan, 18 Odisha, 19 Uttarakhand, 20 Andhra Pradesh, 21 Bihar, 22 0 5 10 15 20 21 25

National Haryana Karnataka Tripura Jharkhand People are using public distribution system (PDS) as preferred

National Haryana Karnataka Tripura Jharkhand People are using public distribution system (PDS) as preferred source for food grain. ISSUES 14 5 18 57 17 Doesn’t know where to register complaint for PDS 19 52 8 67 12 Respondents are purchasing LPG/Kerosene from black market 20 14 23 29 12 Still wood is used as fuel in kitchens of respondent 46 45 19 30 35 Respondents meet their drinking water demand through public water supply 54 51 69 53 70 Only respondents having access to electricity above 20 hours supply on a normal day. Respondent’s Awareness level Electricity Regulatory Commission 32 26 25 18 37 31 26 33 14 20 Respondents believe that access to education has increased due to Right to Education (RTE) 80 90 64 61 86 Instead of good, respondents have rated healthcare facility as “fair” 52 60 54 57 65 Accordingly respondents has respondent that generic medicines are not easily available 57 62 60 67 40 Respondents fully satisfied with government’s effort to ensure adequacy, accessibility and affordability of basic needs. 22 20 22 14 33 According to responses ISI is the most know certification whereas Agmark and Codex certifications are known to very few. 44 53 72 39 71 Always check weights/quantity of product before purchasing Always check contents Mark of product before purchase Unaware of Consumer protection Act 63 29 77 56 86 56 24 39 79 31 69 47 93 RBI is known to the TRAI is known to 40 27 50 32 47 36 54 13 41 30 Respondent ever approached Consumer forums for grievance redressal Respondents not choosing any of Redressal Mechanism Unknown to choosing alternative product/services is the biggest barrier 2. 6 93 56 02 92 41 03 89 25 13 92 36 0. 3 97 51 Respondents satisfied with the Present Grievance Redressal Mechanism Respondents aware of internal redressal mechanism of a company Respondents unaware of external redressal mechanism of a company Respondents agrees, present Grievance Redressal Mechanism’s Ability to Compensate Aggrieved Consumer 27 13 14 25 27 25 39 09 20 18 36 14 06 11 55 07 06 06 Respondents aware of “Jago Grahak Jago” Awareness level of respondents on Consumer Rights 51 41 81 42 59 62 65 48 81 69 Respondent’s aware about the public consultation Respondents Participation in Public Hearing/ Public Consultation Lack of awareness among people for not participating in such events 23 06 64 23 14 80 34 17 39 06 02 22 11 03 35 People’s awareness regarding environmental friendly certifications Respondents Always Purchase Environment Friendly Products Willingness to pay extra money for such products 09 28 63 13 16 56 39 44 59 11 09 73 2. 1 57 71 22

Recommendations • There is need of a separate department for consumer affairs to coordinate

Recommendations • There is need of a separate department for consumer affairs to coordinate all consumer related affaires. • There is need to simplify & speed-up process of consumer fora. • There should mediation/consumer cells every in District Forum. • There is need of a National Authority to curb unfair trade practices , mainly misleading advertisements. • There is a need of national campaign for consumer awareness (like Jago Grahak Jago) in all regional languages. • There is need to creat more awareness about regulatory agencies and their regulations for consumer protection. Every regulator should have dedicated fund for consumer protection. • There is demand to maker Right to basic need a legal right. 23

Recommendations • There is need of regulators for education, health and real-estate sectors. •

Recommendations • There is need of regulators for education, health and real-estate sectors. • There should be more emphasis on consumer education in school and college curriculum. • There is need to ensure access to affordable health services/medicines, especially promotion of generic medicines. • There is needs to promote sustainable consumption and production by providing incentives to green production & consumption. • There is need to activate/empower consumer protection council at national/state/district level. • There should be case management system in Consumer Fora for proper monitoring of disposal to ensure timely disposal. 24

Thank You Amarjeet Singh, Project Coordinator, CUTS International D- 217, Bhaskar Marg, Bani Park,

Thank You Amarjeet Singh, Project Coordinator, CUTS International D- 217, Bhaskar Marg, Bani Park, Jaipur 302 016, India Ph: 91. 141. 5133259, 2282 823/2282 482 Mob: 91. 9829015812 Fax: 91. 141. 4015395 Email: as [email protected] org; consumers. [email protected] org; Project Webpage: http: //www. cuts-international. org/CART/Consumers. Up/ 25