The Centre will shortly issue guidelines on misleading advertisements for IAS coaching institutes, surrogate ads, greenwashing and unsolicted calls as part of a 125-day plan to protect consumer interests, two people directly involved in the process said on the condition of anonymity.

This comes in response to widespread concerns about consumer rights being violated through misleading advertisements and unethical deceptive practices luring people into making purchases.

“We are preparing to finalize the guidelines for most of the consumer related issues. Some are in the final stages of preparation, while others are still in the consultation process,” the first person said.

“It is expected that within the next few months, all the guidelines will be finalised and released for public comments,” this person said.

The guidelines will be issued by the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA).

The draft guidelines have already been issued.

“We follow a very transparent process. First, we issue draft rules and seek public comments, allowing concerned stakeholders to participate,” the second person said.

The final guildelines

“The compilation of public comments is in the final process for misleading advertisement, green washing, surrogate advertisements,” this official said.

“The final guidelines would have some extra caps as suggested by the stakeholders.”

As per the draft rules, coaching institutes for civil services examinations will not be allowed to use the personal details of toppers in their advertisements without their consent.

These guidelines are part of a broader effort to clamp down on misleading and deceptive trade practices, ensuring that consumers are not swayed by unverified claims from firms.

“As it has been done on earlier occasions, the government must bring out all the guidelines as soon as possible for the better interest of consumers,” said Ashim Sanyal, CEO of Consumer VOICE.

The government has also released draft guidelines for pesky calls, making it illegal for companies to make unsolicited calls or send unwanted text messages to promote their services, or hire agents to do so on their behalf from unregistered numbers.

“In the final rules, it is expected that telecom service providers would also be held responsible for allowing unsolicited calls to mature,” the second person said.

The guidelines aim to address spam calls and texts from businesses, including banks, non-bank lenders, insurance firms, and property dealers, which have become a major problem in recent years.

The government is preparing guidelines to protect consumer interests in online gaming after conducting a study. Bengaluru’s National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (Nimhans) has been tasked with studying “disruptive impulse control behavioral patterns” in online gaming that may create vulnerabilities.

Once the study’s findings are available, rules will be developed in consultation with stakeholders.

According to the draft rules for greenwashing, all claims by individuals or organizations must be backed by verifiable evidence. These claims should also be made public through various channels like direct communication, QR codes, or web links.

Queries sent to the spokesperson of the Consumer Affairs Ministry remained unanswered until press time.

HomePoliticsPolicyGovt may issue final rules on misleading ads, surrogate, pesky calls in first 125 days