The Evolution of Consumer Product Safety Policy and Regulation in India

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Abstract

Consumer product safety in India is undergoing a series of structural reforms, encompassing general consumer protection and specific product safety regulation. This article critically examines the state of consumer product safety as it has developed since the adoption of the original Consumer Protection Act 1986 and Bureau of Indian Standards Act 1986 and on that basis puts forward a first reasoned analysis of the major reforms currently under discussion (the Consumer Protection Bill 2015) or recently passed but not yet implemented (the Bureau of Indian Standards Act 2016). The analysis is framed against the backdrop of a preliminary discussion of the constitutional architecture of India, which is in itself a source of complication in the development of coherent consumer policies. The picture emerging from this article shows that, while progress is being made, the field of consumer product safety in India is a difficult work in progress where policy and regulatory developments are hard to achieve incrementally, and structural reform come at the cost of fundamental choices the feasibility of which might prove difficult.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-412
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Consumer Policy: consumer issues in law, economics and behavioral sciences
Volume40
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017

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Product safety
Consumer products
India
Consumer protection
Structural reforms
Safety regulations
Encompassing

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abstract = "Consumer product safety in India is undergoing a series of structural reforms, encompassing general consumer protection and specific product safety regulation. This article critically examines the state of consumer product safety as it has developed since the adoption of the original Consumer Protection Act 1986 and Bureau of Indian Standards Act 1986 and on that basis puts forward a first reasoned analysis of the major reforms currently under discussion (the Consumer Protection Bill 2015) or recently passed but not yet implemented (the Bureau of Indian Standards Act 2016). The analysis is framed against the backdrop of a preliminary discussion of the constitutional architecture of India, which is in itself a source of complication in the development of coherent consumer policies. The picture emerging from this article shows that, while progress is being made, the field of consumer product safety in India is a difficult work in progress where policy and regulatory developments are hard to achieve incrementally, and structural reform come at the cost of fundamental choices the feasibility of which might prove difficult.",
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AB - Consumer product safety in India is undergoing a series of structural reforms, encompassing general consumer protection and specific product safety regulation. This article critically examines the state of consumer product safety as it has developed since the adoption of the original Consumer Protection Act 1986 and Bureau of Indian Standards Act 1986 and on that basis puts forward a first reasoned analysis of the major reforms currently under discussion (the Consumer Protection Bill 2015) or recently passed but not yet implemented (the Bureau of Indian Standards Act 2016). The analysis is framed against the backdrop of a preliminary discussion of the constitutional architecture of India, which is in itself a source of complication in the development of coherent consumer policies. The picture emerging from this article shows that, while progress is being made, the field of consumer product safety in India is a difficult work in progress where policy and regulatory developments are hard to achieve incrementally, and structural reform come at the cost of fundamental choices the feasibility of which might prove difficult.

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