Consumer protection law or consumer law is considered as an area of law that governs the relationship of private law between individual consumers and the businesses that sell certain products and services.

The federal government first introduced the concept of consumer protection legislation in 1995, when 1995 in Islamabad consumer protection act was passed. Later this trend was adopted by the provincial government and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial assembly passed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa consumer protection act, 1997. The Balochistan’s provincial assembly passed The Baluchistan Consumer Protection Act, 2003, the Punjab provincial assembly passed The Punjab Consumers Protection Act, 2005, and Sindh provincial assembly passed a Consumer Protection Bill in 2015 to protect the consumer right. The basic aim of making these Acts, a part of our law is to establish a stable society where all consumers can feel safe and where there is no space for fraudulent acts.

Following the approval of these Acts, district consumer courts are set up for all the districts of Islamabad, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Balochistan while the implantation is underway in Sindh province, so that citizen can easily access these courts to protect their rights. A network of district consumer protection councils has grown through all four provinces of Pakistan along with these district consumer courts. Such councils are set up to built consciousness among masses about their fundamental rights and advantages as a consumer.

Black’s Law Dictionary defines; “consumer goods. Goods bought or used primarily for personal, family, or household purpose, and not for resale or for producing other goods.” It does not matter whether electric appliances are fast-moving consumers goods or not because; words including use right after the term ‘consumer goods’ and before the phrase ‘fast-moving consumer goods’.

Fast-moving consumer goods are products that are used frequently by consumers, sold more quickly, and which are sold at a comparatively low price. They include non-durable goods like packaged foods, soft drinks, beverages, soaps toiletries, over-the-counter drugs, and lots of other consumables. These goods are purchased frequently, are consumed rapidly, are priced low, and are sold in large quantities. They even have a high turnover when they’re on the shelf at the shop. Consumer goods are the product which average consumer purchase for consumption. They are divided into three categories: durable, non-resistant goods, and services. Durable goods have a life of three years or more while the shelf life of nondurable goods is less than one year. Fast-moving consumer goods are the largest consumer goods segment. They fall into the non-durable category, as they are consumed immediately and have a short shelf life.

FMCG COMPANIES IN PAKISTAN:

  • Unilever
  • Nestlé
  • Engro
  • P&G
  • Loreal
  • Coca cola,etc

CONSUMER PROTECTION LAW IN ENGRO COMPANY:

The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) initiated an inquiry into Engro Foods Limited for misleading consumers and engaging in deceptive marketing practices under the Competition Act 2010.persuant to a complaint by Nestlé Pakistan limited.

Engro Foods indicate in its reference to the product from Nestlé Pakistan that the product is a mixture of oil and whitener. The overall net general perception of the TV ad indicates there is no nutritional value in Nestlé Pakistan’s Nido product line.

By relying on the Nestlé Pakistan various record including reports from the food standards maintenance authority, Punjab Food Authority, and other scientific laboratories, it was concluded that Nestlé Nido FortiGrow complies with relevant food standards. it was further noted that the Nestlé Pakistan has been ordered by the Punjab Food Authority to mark its Nido product range as a ‘formula product’ rather than as milk.

Consequently, the CCP established that Nestlé Nido FortiGrow has nutritional qualities that can be beneficial for the wellbeing of children and fulfills relevant requirements of food standards. Inferring otherwise (i.e., to imply that Nestlé Nido FortiGrow has absolutely no nutritional value and is merely a mixture of oil and whitener) amounts to spreading inaccurate and misleading information to consumers without a fair basis for the properties, characteristics .suitable for use and quality of Nestlé Pakistan’s Nido product range by Engro Foods in violation of Section 10(2)(b) of the Competition Act.

Nido product in Pakistan scale by Engro Foods in contravention of Section 10(2)(b) of the Competition Act. 

They are providing fallacious information about Nido products and cheating their customers for many years that Nido product is similar to natural milk. 

In the TV commercial, it has been showing that children reading out a disclaimer on the product packaging that “this is not natural milk”.  It obeys the directions of the Supreme Court and as such presenting it in a malevolent manner it could have a deceptive impact on the people.

Reviewing the general marketing campaign of Nestle Pakistan over the past 10 years in association with Nido Product, the CCP noticed that it is deceiving the general public that their product is milk. Therefore, the statement of Engro products showed in their commercial is true. So Engro foods do not violate the provision of Section 10(2)(b) of the Competition Act.

People around the world increase online shopping because it is less time consuming and feasible. The online market for purchasing groceries and other consumable products is increasing because the company offers doorstep delivery in short timings. While non-consumable products are more purchase online than consumable products in large quantities.

Reduction in tax liability income, or income classes, person classes are listed below, allowed in the tax liability and subject under such conditions:

For the suppliers of pharmaceutical products, fertilizers, consumers good which include FMCG goods, the tax shall be reduced by eighty percent under section 113.

One of the biggest fast-moving consumer goods company Procter and Gamble (P&G) has an annual development budget of 2 million dollars with nearly half billion spent on consumer research.

To maintain the position, the FMCG sector produces standard products to attract and retain the customer and it should also be consumed by the customers on a regular basis. On the other hand, less selling of products reduced the market size of that FMCG. Therefore, marketers set different strategies to win consumers’ hearts. FMCG is aware of the packaging /wrapping of its products. So, FMCG plays a vital role in environmentally friendly organizations for reducing the global warming current situation.

Submitted by Arooba Zafar and Yusra Ali, 17 June 2020