Direct selling: inter-Ministerial panel to meet stakeholders on Nov 27

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 22, 2018 Published on November 23, 2015

Move part of efforts to set norms for multi-level marketing firms

The fourth inter-Ministerial committee, which is to draw a framework to regulate direct selling/multi-level marketing firms, is slated to meet industry and consumer organisations on November 27 to seek their views.

Among those called for the meeting are industry chambers (FICCI, CII, Assocham and PHD), the Federation of Direct Selling Association, Chavi Hemanth, Secretary General, Indian Direct Selling Association, the National Consumer Redressal Forum, Suresh Mishra, professor, Indian Institute of Public Administration, and Bejon Mishra, a consumer activist, according to an office memo by the Department Consumer Affairs. All participants will be given five minutes to give their views or comments, says the memo dated November 13.

Direct selling, estimated to be an over ₹7,000-crore business in India, according to a FICCI-KPMG report, includes a large number of foreign players such as Amway, Avon, Oriflame and Tupperware. The direct sale format, which entails selling goods and services directly to consumers, came under a cloud after the arrest last year of US firm Amway’s CEO William Pinckney on charges of money laundering. He was later released on bail.

Following this, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister Ram Vilas Paswan had stressed the need to evolve a “transparent and consumer-friendly business model” for the sector. At a FICCI event last year, he said “I'm aware that there have been many different business models adopted by the direct selling companies but in their garb, fly-by-night operators have actually done frauds with innocent consumers in the country in absence of awareness and strict norms adopted by the industry itself”, adding that “consumers should not be cheated.”

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Published on November 23, 2015
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