To ensure consumers’ right to repair products at shops other than the authorised centres without infringing the product warranty, India’s first consumer body, the Consumer Guidance Society of India (CGSI), will present a ‘Right to Repair Bill’ to the Centre.
The Bill will be made in conjunction with charitable trust Shri Vile Parle Kelavani Mandal’s Pravin Gandhi College of Law and Kohinoor Education Trust’s Schools of Management, the CGSI issued a statement on Monday.
Dr MS Kamath, the CGSI general secretary, said that the idea is that a product’s warranty, for instance a mobile phone, isn’t declared void because the buyer visited a local shop for repair instead of an authorised centre. “We want a manual that gives a list of products and the time period. This will not only generate employment but also help consumers reduce e-waste by permitting recycling. People tend to buy a new product because repairs are very expensive,” he said.
Rules likely to be put in place by mid-May
Dr Kamath said they expect it to be ready by mid-May. “When we send this to the Government of India, we will ask them to consider appending this as rules in the Consumer Protection Act. Though the rules are subservient to the Act, they will come out fast as compared to a law that requires greater deliberations,” he said. There was, however, no response to the FPJ’s queries from the Consumer Affairs Ministry on CGSI’s initiative.
CGSI Survey findings
The CGSI’s demand for the rules is backed by a survey it conducted. As per the survey findings, 95% of the respondents said that manufacturers should provide detailed repair manuals to customers, whereas 87% said they would be comfortable assembling a product if given a comprehensive manual. Nearly 69% believed that the Right to Repair Act will have an impact in reducing the environmental damage caused due to premature disposal of products; 94% opined that India should declare the Right to Repair Act as a basic right.
In its press statement, CGSI stated that in the European Union, Canada and Australia, there are resolutions that make labelling of products mandatory along with details of spare parts, tools and repair related information for at least 10 years since release.
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