afaqs! news bureau
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Consumer affairs ministry to set guidelines for advertising around coronavirus

The ministry will prohibit companies from issuing ads around COVID-19 and making wrongful claims about their product or services.

The Department of Consumer Affairs of Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution is in talks with stakeholders to set guidelines to curb false claims made by companies in wake of the outbreak of COVID-19. As per a report published today in a national daily, this will include prohibiting manufacturers, retailers and importers from issuing advertisements “using coronavirus, Covid-19 and other variants of these names and making wrongful claims about their products or services”.

One of the proposed guideline states that e-commerce platforms will be asked to ensure hygiene of delivery personnel and vehicles used by them as well as the kitchen and packaging space.

The report also suggests that organised retailers will be advised to restrict the number of essential products to be sold to each customer based on demand and supply to discourage hoarding and to ensure fair availability. The ministry will also notify the procedures that the retailers, manufacturers and distributors of masks and sanitisers would need to follow.