Ram Vilas Paswan, Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, has said that the government is working on mechanism to stop adulteration in packaged water. Paswan said that Department of Consumer Affairs has requested FSSAI to prepare a low cost testing machine which can be useful to check adulteration in various food products. It was stated by Ram Vilas Paswan while briefing the media after chairing the 31st meeting of the Central Consumer Protection Council (CCPC) held today at Vigyan Bhawan, in New Delhi.
Paswan further stated that Department of Consumer Affairs will launch 6 Regional Consumer Helpline in next 3 months. State Governments have been requested to provide necessary support for establishment of Regional Consumer Helpline. Paswan also informed that the Department will organize Consumer Awareness Yatra involving the States & UTs and the voluntary consumer organisations from 15th August 2017 to 24th December 2017.
C.R. Chaudhary, the Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, the Vice-President of the Council, also addressed the members of the Council. Preeti Sudan, Secretary, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, highlighted about the legislative changes and the activities being undertaken by the Ministry, including a number digital initiatives, towards protection of the rights of the consumers and asked the Members of the Council to play significant role in taking forward the consumer movement.
The topics discussed in the meeting included the points put forth by the Members on challenges in combating adulteration, strengthening the enforcement machinery and testing Infrastructure, training and capacity Building of all stakeholders, consumer advocacy, capacity building of Panchayati Raj Institutions and other Rural Development Functionaries to spread consumer awareness in the rural areas, setting up a Regulatory Authority for E-Commerce and National Consumer Awareness Yatra.
Suggestions from the Members were also sought on issues like service charges being charged by hotels and restaurants, awareness on wastage of food, legal metrology activities such as sale at less than MRP, Jagrook Grahak Kendra and rising awareness, issues related to food adulteration and fake and spurious goods.
The Officers from the Central Government Regulatory Agencies including FSSAI, BIS and officers from State Governments and representatives from Voluntary Consumer Organisations participated in the meeting.
The Central Council emphasized that the Working Groups constituted with its members should continue working on issues affecting the consumers and make recommendations/suggestions for consideration of the Government.