Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Study to evaluate Consumer Protection Act

The Government of india
The Government had engaged Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi to conduct a study on “Evaluation of the Impact and Effectiveness of Consumer Protection Act, 1986”. 

The recommendations in the study report and areas identified for reform are as follows:

  • Each State Government should set up at least a Directorate of Consumer Affairs to begin with, followed by full-fledged Department. Consumer Protection Council down to District level is to be strengthened.
  • ‘CONFONET’ Project is to be speeded up for retrieval of Data on all India basis. State Commissions and District Commissions should have their websites.
  • Members appointed to District Fora should qualify a written test.
  • A process of filling up vacancy in State/District Fora should be under taken well in advance. To attract better talent uniform pay scale of all the members of the State Commissions and District Forum should be fixed.
  • To tide over the increasing volume of cases more benches are to be set up at the level of State Commission. State Commission should be given more power to supervise the functioning of District Fora which lack discipline.
  • District Forums should be encouraged to organize Lok Adalat to dispose of pending cases. Appearance of lawyers should be banned except in some special cases.
  • Remedy available under special law should not come in conflict with the remedy available in the Consumer Protection Act.
  • Awareness campaign for consumer rights using electronic and print media is to be launched. VCOs, which play a major role in educating consumers, should be funded. Mediation Centre is to be set up to resolve consumer complaints.

This information was given by the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Prof. K.V. Thomas in a written reply in Lok Sabha on December 10, 2013.      

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