Two officials said that the Consumers Affairs Ministry will hold a meeting on September 14th to confer on threats relating to fake reviews and discuss about the right to mend damaged electronic devices and standard device chargers
In the upcoming meeting, the consumer affairs ministry will share committee's report on fake reviews with the industry stakeholders
The latest development comes barely days after the consumer affairs ministry finalised
a draft framework to tackle fake reviews and unverified ratings on various platforms
The Center is planning to impose stiff penalties (on companies) for using fake reviews and ratings of electronic devices in an attempt to safeguard consumers’ interests and provide convenience to them.
The Mint report quoted two officials saying that the union consumers affairs ministry will hold a meeting on September 14th to confer on threats relating to fake reviews and also, discuss the right to mend damaged electronic devices and standard device chargers.
“Guidelines will be issued for the entire sector, and we are willing to listen and accommodate the solutions that the industry is going to suggest,” one of the two above-cited officials said.
Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA), which is led by the consumer affairs ministry, has formed three groups to work on fake reviews, the right to mend impaired electronic devices and device chargers.
It was informed that the committee working on fake reports has prepared its report after holding meetings with the industry leaders and several ministries. Meanwhile, the committee working on standard device chargers will submit the report in approximately eight weeks.
In the upcoming meeting, the consumer affairs ministry will share the committee’s report on fake reviews with the industry stakeholders.
The latest development comes barely days after the consumer affairs ministry finalised a draft framework to tackle fake reviews and unverified ratings on ecommerce platforms, travel and hotel booking websites.
During that time, secretary of the Consumer Affairs Ministry Rohit Kumar Singh said that the Centre is in discussions with ecommerce marketplaces to reach an agreement on the framework. It was also informed that the Centre is looking to roll out ecommerce guidelines soon.
Taking into account the guidelines on fake reviews, an official informed that the said guidelines will have a provision to impose penalties on companies that use bots to get positive reviews for their platforms or put negative reviews on their competitors’ platforms.
“The guidelines will have provisions under which stiff fines will be imposed. Upon investigation, if you are found to be on the wrong side of things, a fine will be imposed. We can take suo moto cognizance of cases that qualify for class action,” the official added.
Besides this, the Centre also seeks to discontinue a multiple chargers for electric devices that are presently used in the country. It wants to replace these chargers with uniform chargers that can be deployed across various electronic devices.
Talking about the draft guidelines on the right to mend impaired electronic devices, the Centre is anticipating a negative reaction from the industry as it believes that the proposed guidelines can hamper innovation in the sector.
“These days, goods are made to fail. Manufacturers need to evolve so that we can limit e-waste, and they need to make sustainable appliances. We are planning star ratings for longevity like there is for efficiency. If it is made to last longer, then the appliance will have a 5-star rating. The industry may say that this could stifle innovation, but we are working to find a solution,” another official said.
Apart from the Centre, state governments and ministries are also taking adequate measures to regulate fake websites as well as information in the digital space.
Recently, the MeitY summoned Wikipedia executives to give an explanation as to how Indian Cricketer Arshdeep Singh’s Wikipedia page got changed and later on, showed his association with Khalistan.
A panel led by IT secretary Alkesh Kumar Sharma would reportedly meet Wikipedia executives to discuss various issues on the platform such as checks and edits that are permitted by it.
In August, the Delhi Police arrested a racket that conned users of INR 60 Lakh via fake ecommerce websites. The said racket was caught by Delhi Police’s Intelligence Fusion & Strategic Operations wing.