By OUR STAFF REPORTER
DEHRADUN, 24 Jul: PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry along with member organisation ‘India Direct Selling Industry Association’ had multiple meetings with the Chief Secretary and authorities concerned since June 2014 in respect of representation for the state to develop a Direct Selling Regulatory framework for the protection of consumers and sellers from the risks of Ponzi schemes prevalent in this sector. The matter is coming to a logical conclusion soon with the support of Secretary Sushil Kumary and Dr Suchismita Sengupta Pande, Additional Commissioner in the Department of Consumer Affairs & Food & Civil Supplies. A seminar was held here, today, dedicated to address the cause and set grounds for the stake holders before the guidelines are issued. Chief Minister TS Rawat stated on the occasion that the Government of Uttarakhand was sensitive to the rights of consumers and thus working in synch with Government of India advisories and is committed to bringing in trade reforms and the regulatory framework needed to help in distinguishing between the genuine and fraudulent players in the Direct Selling Industry to safeguard the interest of consumers. He stated that the Ministry of Consumer Affairs is working towards implementing a regulatory framework for the emerging industries which includes direct selling industry. SP Kochhar, Mentor & ex- Chairman in his address declared that the changes in this effect to the Consumer Protection Act would strengthen consumer welfare. The need to differentiate direct selling from other fraudulent schemes masquerading in the market as direct selling would be addressed in the guidelines to be finalised soon in this respect. Verendra Kalra, Chairman, PHDCCI Uttarakhand, stated that the state government understood the plight of operators and administrative authorities due to the absence of any specific regulatory framework for the direct selling industry and is committed to taking up the matter seriously and would release guidelines very soon. Secretary Sushil Kumar, Consumer Affairs and Food & Civil Supply, stated that due to multiplicity of regulatory bodies and not very clear policy framework, the corporate and authentic business houses are facing difficulties in the process of setting up pan-India supply chains and manufacturing facilities and will be addressed by state govt. He stated that the Ease of Doing Business vision and Single window clearance system coupled with direct selling industry guidelines will remove the hurdles like lengthy procedures related to registrations of the company, attaining and renewing licenses, stamp duty and municipality zoning restrictions, etc. Bejon Mishra, a renowned consumer policy expert at national and global platform and instrumental in founding many consumer organisations in India, stated that as Chairman of the Consumer Affairs Committee of PHDCCI he highly appreciated the proactive approach of the state government to address the concerns relating to the performance of the direct selling sector. He stated that the Chamber along with India Direct Selling Association had been actively participating in the meetings and discussions on the matters related to regulatory reforms for the direct selling Industry for quite some time now and expressed confidence that the agenda would soon be reaching its logical conclusion. Rajat Banerji, Secretary, Indian Direct Sellers Association, disclosed that as per IDSA Industry Survey 2016 -17, the Direct Selling Industry was contributing to total sales turnover of Rs 10,000 Crore, with approximately 51 lakh individuals associated with it. Going forward, it is expected that by 2023-24 it will grow to Rs 18,000 Crore, generating self-employment opportunity for approximately 95 Lakh Individuals. He further mentioned that this industry is instrumental in women empowerment as around 53% of the distributors are women associated with it. Director Taneja, PHDCCI UK, stated that a draft of direct selling guidelines for the state of Uttarakhand had been submitted by PHD Chamber to the Government. Positive action for the adoption of the guidelines had been initiated in this respect. Dr Ranjeet Mehta, Principal Director of PHDCCI, made the concluding remarks.