New Delhi, Mar 15: Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and public Distribution Prof. K.V. Thomas has called for the effective functioning of consumer dispute redressal machinery in the country
Addressing the conference of the Presidents of State Commissions and the Secretaries in-charge of Consumer Affairs of the States/UTs here on Thursday, Thomas said: “The Government gives very higher priority to consumer protection and it is taking all steps to further strengthen consumer redressel fora. The Consumer Protection Act is being reviewed to make it more effective.”
” A range of reforms have been proposed in the Act for this purpose and to speed up grievance redressing process. Awareness campaign is being planned to make common man more assertive about his or her rights as consumers. Department of Consumer Affairs is also exploring the possibility of producing tele-serials educating and empowering the consumers of their rights and responsibilities, as tele-serials have a mass appeal,” he added.
“Another intervention is the creation of Consumer Welfare Fund in 1992 with the objective of providing financial assistance to promote and protect the welfare of the consumer, create consumer awareness and strengthen consumer movement in the country, particularly in the rural areas. Similarly, Legal Metrology Act has been passed in April, 2011 for the benefit of consumers laying down specific standards in weight and measurement,” he said.
“But, our efforts do not end here. As we progress, as the economy develops, it throws newer challenges for us to face. I may like to reiterate here that the success of consumer protection movement in the country relies on smooth and successful cooperation between the Central and the State Governments/UTs. You all will agree that a co-operative approach will result in uniform implementation of consumer protection laws and rules across all jurisdictions,” he added.
Stating that there are no two opinions when it comes to protection of consumers, and together we can achieve that goal, Thomas said: ” I am happy to inform the audience that a range of reforms in the Consumer Protection Act has been proposed by the Department of Consumer Affairs, which I am sure, will have an effect on the laws administered by the States/UTs. These changes, it is hoped, will further benefit the consumers and speed up grievance redressing processes.” (ANI)