Paswan sheds light on New Consumer Protection Act

image credits: PIB

To work together for betterment of consumers

Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Ram Vilas Paswan interacted with Industry representatives to discuss threadbare the key provisions of the Central Consumer Protection Authority and the rules and regulations which are being formed under the New Consumer Protection Act.

Various Industry bodies and representatives such as FICCI, ASSOCHAM, CII, DICCI, Amazon, HUL, P&G, Vodafone, Snapdeal, Zomato, PAYTM etc took part in the discussions and agreed to work together for providing consumers quality products and services. Shri Paswan stated that the Consumer Protection Act 2019 has simplified rules for quick resolution of consumer disputes in various consumer dispute redressal commissions.

The Union Minister said that to prevent unnecessary long litigations, Mediation has been introduced in all Commissions.  The industry representatives hailed Mediation as a time and resource saving mechanism for better satisfaction of consumers.  To stop prolonged litigation, restrictions on number of appeals have been provided in the Act. Shri Paswan said the good thing was that everyone unanimously hailed the new Consumer Protection Act and all decided to work together for betterment of consumers. The Industry representatives also agreed to strengthen their self-regulatory mechanism and provide all possible help to the Department of Consumer Affairs.

The Union Minister stressed on the need to regulate e – commerce and direct selling as at present there is no regulatory body for these sectors and online purchases are increasing every day. Paswan specifically mentioned about the process of grievance redressal by National Consumer Helpline and Zonal helplines in resolving consumer grievances. He said Increasing number of consumers are using Consumer App for registering complaints and has been a great success. This App is being monitored in the Ministry. Paswan concluded by saying that, Involvement of trade and industry, civil society organizations and above all consumer themselves is vital to keep a check on the practice of unfair trade in the years to come.

Addressing the media after the interaction, Paswan said that an investigative wing is envisaged to be formed under the aegis of CCPA, which shall carry out inquiries and investigations in matters relating to consumer rights, unfair trade practices and misleading advertisements. The district collectors have also been empowered to conduct investigations that affect interests of consumer as a class under CPA 2019, under the aegis of CCPA. The establishment of a central authority and initiating action as a class comes as an additional mode of relief which can be exercised along with individual consumers filing complaints to address their grievances thereby having two parallel proceedings.

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