Q9. Differentiate between ‘consumer interest’ and ‘public interest’?
Apparently it seems that public interest and consumer interest are synonymous, but it is not so. They may be differentiate as under;
- In name of public interest, many Governmental Policies are formulated which manifest themselves in anti-competitive behavior . If the consumer is at the fulcrum(base), consumer interest and welfare will have primacy in all govt. formulations.
- Consumer is member of broad class of people who purchases, use, maintain, and dispose products and services. They are being affected by pricing policy, financing practice, quality of goods and services and trade practices. They are clearly distinguished from manufacturers who produce goods for wholesalers and retailers who sell in public interest.
- Public interest is something in which society as a whole has some interest, and is seen as an externalize to competitive market. There is also a justifiable apprehension that in the name of public interest, Government policies may be fashioned and introduced which may not be in the ultimate interest of the consumers.
In fact in such situations, there is the possibilities that a conflict could arise between consumer interest and public interest.