IS THE KEY TO CONSUMER PROTECTION
NATIONAL CONSUMER DAY TODAY
Recognising that consumer awareness and education
programme play a pivotal role in protecting
consumers, “Jago Grahak Jago” campaign
by the Government of India shall be intensified
in the coming months. Shri Yashwant Bhave, Secretary,
Department of Consumer Affairs gave these comments
during a function to celebrate the National
Consumer Day in the capital today. He said that
enactment of Consumer Protection Act on 24 December,
1986 has proved to be a milestone in consumer
movement and on this day, all stakeholders should
take a pledge to protect the interest of consumers.
Bhave exuded confidence that an aware and enlightened
consumer shall play a crucial role in enabling
the transition to a knowledge base society.
He highlighted that a 3-tier structure comprising
of legal framework, Standards and consumer redressal
is paramount for protecting the interest of
consumer. Giving a small example regarding purchase
of gold, Shri Bhave observed that about 18 to
39% samples of gold were found to be of lower
Caratage which roughly translates into an annual
lose of 7500 crores to consumers. To protect
the interest of the consumers, the Government
has started the hallmarking scheme and shall
be expanding it further in the coming months.
Bhave also highlighted that other issues concerning
the interest of the consumers such as MRP, Labeling,
Standardisation etc. were being taken up by
the Department through its consumer awareness
publicity campaign. He also praised the efficacy
of consumer forums and pointed out that out
of 28 lakh complaints received by the consumer
fora till now, more than 25 lakh cases have
been disposed off.
the keynote address, Shri S. Joe Bhatia, President
and CEO, of American National Standards Institute
(ANSI) emphasized the importance of framing
standards to protect consumer interest. Citing
the example of the concerns raised regarding
toy safety in America, Shri Bhatia said that
ANSI is playing the role of a facilitator for
the industry to adopt voluntary standards so
that consumers can get products with well-defined
quality standards. He pointed out that the industry
should come forward and adopt voluntary standards
which are quick to respond and flexible.
his concluding address, Justice J.R. Kapoor,
President, State Consumer Fora, Delhi described
the Consumer Protection Act as a magnificent
and one of the finest pieces of legislation
ever enacted by any Government world wide. He
remarked that if used effectively, Consumer
Protection Act can drive all the unscrupulous
traders out of business. Highlighting some of
the recent judgments of consumer courts relating
to penalty on airlines for delay in the flight,
penalty on a bank for using strong arm tactics
for loan recovery etc Justice Kapoor asked the
consumers to become aware of their rights and
take pro-active steps in seeking redressal.
in her welcome address, Smt. Alka Sirohi, Addl.
Secretary, in the Department of Consumer Affairs
highlighted the various measures being taken
by the Government for protecting consumers.
She said that the computerization of consumer
forum network is being undertaken and soon consumers
will have the facility of online registration
of complaints. She also pointed out that amendment
to Consumer Protection Act to ensure disposal
of cases in a specific timeframe is being envisaged.
the occasion, Monographs on various issues concerning
‘Consumer Protection’ were also
released. The monographs in Hindi have been
brought out jointly by Indian Institute of Public
Administration and the Department of Consumer
Affairs, Government of India.