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India’s Direct Selling Guidelines: Ministry of Consumer Affairs

Looking at the Direct Selling industry as a future economic growth business sector and employment generator, the Narendra Modi led-BJP government is working proactively towards regulating the direct selling business in India.

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, headed by Ram Vilas Paswan, issued the guidelines earlier in order to bring about transparency in the business. This was done in the wake of chit fund and Ponzi scams that also affected the businesses of genuine companies involved in this trade. Eureka Forbes, Tupperware, Oriflame, Amway, Hindustan Unilever, Modicare, Qnet are some of the major companies that are conducting their businesses through the direct selling method.

A major highlight of the guidelines is that the companies in the direct selling business would not charge any fee at the time of joining. Also, the companies will have to give the product specification guarantees at the time of purchase of their products. This means the consumers will have the right to return the product if its quality is not as per the specifications.

After the guidelines were issued, the companies were asked to give an affidavit to the Ministry saying they will fully follow the guidelines. Subsequently, 124 companies have submitted their affidavits to the Ministry.

Below is the link to the Guidelines issued by the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs:

http://consumeraffairs.nic.in/writereaddata/Direct%20Selling%20guidelines.pdf

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