In a bid to enable consumers make informed choices, Minister for Consumer Affairs Ram Vilas Paswan on Tuesday urged the FMCG industry to voluntarily look at adopting labelling in Hindi and regional languages.

Speaking at an event organised by FICCI, Paswan said, “In developed countries like China and Japan, labels are printed in their own languages. However, in India, companies continue to use only English for labelling. Labelling should also be done in Hindi and other regional languages, besides English.”

He said that multiple languages are spoken in the country and the industry should start adopting the practice of labelling in Hindi and regional languages, depending on the regions where they are widely spoken.

“Companies may not be able to print all details in Hindi and regional languages. But atleast the brand name can be printed in Hindi or other regional languages,” he said adding that packaged water bottle brand Bisleri has done a great job in this direction.

Highlighting steps taken by the government for consumer protection, Paswan said a revamped Bureau of Indian Standards Act came into effect in 2017 to strengthen product standards. “We want to ensure that Indian products are in no way inferior to their foreign counterparts to enable them compete globally,” Paswan added.

Consumer protection

He also pointed out that the government has drafted a consumer protection Bill, which once passed by Parliament, will help address various consumer issues such as charging double MRP.

Raising the issue of food wastage, Paswan said restaurants should look into a mechanism of giving information to consumers regarding the quantity of food served.

Meanwhile, a FICCI– Deloitte report released at the event said the retail industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 10 per cent in the four-year period from $795 billion in 2017 to $1,200 billion by 2021, the e-commerce market is predicted to increase over 30 per cent over the same period to reach $80-120 billion in 2021 from the current $24 billion.