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Govt to soon finalize a proposal to decriminalize Legal Metrology Act: Goyal

New Delhi: The Centre announced on Friday that the plan to make the law crime-free will be finalized soon. To make it easier for businesses and customers to comply with the law, the Legal Metrology Act was enacted.

The Legal Metrology Act of 2009 establishes weights and measures standards. In its current version, the legislation stipulates that a second or subsequent infraction will result in imprisonment in addition to a fine which is considered to be a result of a criminal offense too. The government has received a “quite good” response to the draught revisions to consumer protection (e-commerce) legislation, according to the minister.

Piyush Goyal, the central minister, delivered a virtual message on the occasion of National Consumer Day. He believes that the Legal Metrology Act should be decriminalized so that consumer interests are safeguarded and merchants and enterprises are not harassed.

The Minister of Food and Consumer Affairs stated, “We will finalize this as quickly as possible.”

He stated that feedback is being analysed to finalize the draught and that the revisions are being offered to prevent unfair commercial practices on e-commerce platforms and to protect consumers’ interests.

Furthermore, the government has established restrictions regarding arbitration, direct selling, and deceptive advertising. The Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011, have also been updated.

According to him, the government has issued 10 rules and six regulations under the Consumer Protection Act 2009 thus far. More guidelines on a variety of consumer-related topics are being drafted.

The Minister stated that the government is open to proposals to make laws and rules simpler and more effective, adding that the recently implemented ‘e-Dakhil’ service for e-filing consumer complaints is gaining popularity.

On this platform, more than 40,000 complaints have been filed. However, there is a need to raise consumer knowledge of this platform so that more people can benefit from it.

Even the e-mediation process has begun. He stated that efforts are being made to ensure that the complainant can simply appeal online and participate in court sessions via video conference to get their grievances resolved quickly.

To ensure that the ‘country of origin’ of products sold on e-commerce platforms is clearly stated, the minister has requested the central and state governments to closely monitor such websites and educate stakeholders.

He stated that writing ‘Made in India’ is not appropriate and that the information of the ‘country of origin’ should be shown by Indian legislation.

He also emphasized the importance of raising awareness about the use of safety equipment such as helmets and pressure cookers with the ‘Quality ISI Mark’ all around the country.

The virtual meeting included Consumer Affairs Secretary Leena Nandan, Additional Secretary Nidhi Khare, and Joint Secretary Anupam Mishra.

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