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Market Checking

April 16, 2024

The Legal Metrology Department (LMD) has realised a whopping amount of Rs 4.22 Crores as penalty during the previous financial year 2023-24. One of the primary functions of the Legal Metrology Department is to verify weights and measuring instruments used in commercial transactions. In this regard, field executives conducted inspections on 16,525 instruments, ensuring their accuracy and preventing underweight selling practices. This approach not only safeguards consumers from potential exploitation but also contributes to a fair and transparent marketplace. Market checking inspections are another crucial aspect of the LMD’s regulatory efforts. Throughout the previous financial year, the department conducted inspections at various establishments, including petrol pumps, LPG agencies, kirana shops, and bakeries. These inspections led to the identification of 3651 traders who were found to be in violation of the Legal Metrology Act 2009. As a result, fines totaling Rs 1.79 Crores were imposed on the errant traders, sending a clear message that non-compliance with regulatory standards will not be tolerated. While enforcement actions and regulatory measures are essential components of consumer protection, enhancing consumer awareness is equally vital in ensuring a fair and transparent marketplace. In addition to enforcement actions, the Legal Metrology Department has placed significant emphasis on consumer awareness and education. Consumer empowerment lies at the heart of effective consumer protection, and the department has organized numerous awareness camps to educate consumers about their rights and responsibilities. Through these camps, consumers are informed about the importance of purchasing ISI-marked products, which signify adherence to quality standards. However, despite the proactive measures taken by the Legal Metrology Department, there remains a pressing need to further enhance consumer awareness. While enforcement actions and redressal mechanisms serve as essential safeguards, an informed and empowered consumer base is equally crucial in preventing unfair trade practices and protecting consumer rights. One of the challenges faced by consumers is a lack of awareness about their rights and the standards governing various products and services. Many consumers may not fully understand the significance of ISI marks, Hallmarks, or other quality certifications, leaving them vulnerable to counterfeit or substandard products. Moreover, navigating complex pricing structures, weighing systems, and measurement units can be daunting for the average consumer, leading to confusion and potential exploitation. To address these challenges, concerted efforts are needed to educate consumers about their rights and equip them with the knowledge to make informed choices. Consumer awareness campaigns should be tailored to reach diverse segments of society, including urban and rural populations, literate and illiterate individuals, and different age groups. These campaigns can utilize various channels such as print and electronic media, social media platforms, community events, and educational workshops to disseminate information effectively. In addition to raising awareness about product quality and standards, consumers should also be educated about their rights regarding pricing, billing practices, warranty coverage, and recourse mechanisms in case of disputes. Understanding these rights empowers consumers to demand fair treatment from businesses and seek redressal for any grievances they may encounter.

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