NEW DELHI: Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan Tuesday urged the FMCG industry to adopt labelling of their packaged products in Hindi and regional languages "voluntarily" in the interest of consumers.
Asserting that consumer protection is priority of the government, he called upon the industry to work alongside his ministry in the interest of consumers.
"Multiple languages are spoken in India. We cannot promote Hindi alone. The industry should go for labelling in Hindi and regional languages where ever they are widely spoken," he said at a Ficci organised event here.
In countries like China, Japan and the EU, labels are printed in their own languages.
"Whereas India continues to use English as if we don't have our own language," he said.
"In case of water bottle, you may not be able to print all details on the label in Hindi and regional languages but at least, you can print the brand name," Paswan said and lauded the Bisleri company for adopting labelling in the local language.
Asked if the government will make it mandatory, the minister said in the negative and added, "Let the industry adopt it voluntarily."
He further said that even the company notices issued to consumers should also be in local languages.
Highlighting steps taken by the government to protect consumers, Paswan said a new Bureau of Indian Standards law has been brought in to ensure products are safe and its standards are not inferior to the global standards.
Also, a consumer protection bill has been drafted and once it is passed in Parliament it will be able to address issues related to e-commerce users like double maximum retail price (MRP), he added.
Paswan also released a Ficci-Deloitte report 'Consumer Leads' that throws light on prioritising brand tactics through select business practices and case studies which would help companies in reflecting their consumer strategies to face the highly competitive environment.
The report attempts to decode the complexity presented by the multitude of opportunities in the consumer space.
Walmart CEO and president Krish Iyer, Hindustan Unilever chairman and managing director Sanjiv Mehta, P&G India subcontinent managing director and CEO Madhusudan Gopalan, PepsiCo India president and CEO Ahmed El Sheikh, Oriflame India managing director and head of south Asia Frederic Widell and Amazon India CFO and vice president finance Raghava Rao were present at the Ficci event.