The Indian Direct Selling Association (IDSA) has urged the Central Government to put in place a legislative framework that will regulate the Indian direct selling industry, the size of which has been pegged at Rs 2,400 crore in 2003-04.
Addressing a news conference here on Tuesday, Mr Manoj Shirodkar, Chairman of IDSA, said since the direct selling industry in the country was on a growth path, it was imperative to have a regulatory framework backed by legislation.
This will not only facilitate the structured growth of the industry but also help in keeping "unscrupulous elements and fly-by-night operators" at bay.
This is especially important as the Indian direct selling industry has moved out of large cities and has the potential to engage and provide livelihood to 15 million people across the country.
Mr Shirodkar said talks in this regard had been initiated with senior officials at the Centre.
Inputs for the proposed legislation could be drawn from the legislation in several countries.
IDSA is focused on formulating a self-regulatory framework for direct sellers in the country. Creation of awareness about direct selling is also a focus area for IDSA. It has been estimated that direct selling in the country provides employment opportunities to 13 lakh people.
The products sold in the country are spread across 2,100 variants ranging from home care, personal care, cosmetics, kitchenware, health care and nutrition to books, education and multi-media products. "Direct selling is a low-investment opportunity for income generation and, hence, should be encouraged. Globally, it is a $89-billion business and engages 50 million people," Mr Shirodkar said.
According to him, direct selling provides opportunities to women who want to supplement their family income. At present, 60 per cent of the direct selling business is done by women, with couples and men accounting for 28 per cent and 12 per cent, respectively.