Sales of products by online retailers and marketplaces hits direct sellers

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I have been engaged in Direct Selling for the past decade-and-a-half. This involved buying products from a Company and selling these to my customers including my friends  and neighbors. For many years those of us in this line, were clear that we were engaged in commerce or trade – earning commissions from the sale of products.

But there was a catch: we were told that there was ‘lack of regulatory clarity’. It took us a while to understand what this meant. We soon learnt that this was a step that the Central Government needed to take so that the industry and people involved, could fulfil their potential. Thus when the Government formalized Guidelines for Direct selling, we were told that we now had ‘regulatory clarity.’ We were told that the on-line sale of products (which is not allowed in this industry, unless sold by the Company) was prohibited under the Guidelines. But still we see products on sale on various sites. This is detrimental to us individuals and our livelihoods continue to be threatened, and at the end of the day, the consumer. FICCI and other industry associations have released several reports and studies. There are 4 million (or 40 lakh) Indians involved in this industry. With the guidelines, this could go up to 18 million by 2025. This will not happen if there are problems created by unauthorized sale of on-line products.

We appeal to you to sign this petition and once we have adequate numbers, this petition will be delivered to the Secretary Consumer Affairs, Government of India, for his attention and immediate action.



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