Govt to bar direct selling companies from charging entry fee from agents
In the proposed guidelines, the government has clearly defined legitimate direct selling and differentiates it from ponzi schemes to help investigating agencies identify fraudulent players
The Centre has decided to bar direct selling companies such as Amway, Tupperware and Oriflame from charging any entry fee from agents or compelling them to buy back unsold stocks, reported Aseem Manchanda.
The government has said the companies will have to enter into an agreement with direct sellers or agents, and give full refund or buy-back guarantee for goods and services sold to them.
In the proposed guidelines, the government has clearly defined legitimate direct selling and differentiates it from ponzi schemes to help investigating agencies identify fraudulent players, according to a source.
Among others, the government has specified several conditions for setting up of direct selling business in the country, the sources said.
“One main condition is that direct selling companies should not charge entry fee from its members and compel them to buy back unsold inventory,” the sources said.
Currently, direct sellers need to pay registration fee as well as purchase some products for selling. If they fail to sell the products, it imposes the burden on them.
As per the proposed guidelines, there should be a proper agreement between companies and direct sellers or agents. The companies will have to train direct sellers and maintain their complete details, the sources said.
At central level, the Consumer Affairs Ministry will monitor the direct selling industry, while the states have to put in place a regulatory mechanism for the same, they added.
The guidelines also talk about obligation of direct seller, relationship between direct seller entity and direct seller as well as consumer protection.
The new guidelines have been framed as direct selling industry is facing problems in the absence of clear legislation that defines the regulatory framework.
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