Govt Plans to Make Consumer Fora as Authority

Government is considering a proposal to make the three-tier consumer redressal mechanism as an "authority" as the current set up have not been fully able to address consumer grievances.

Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan informed Lok Sabha today his Ministry is considering the proposal as many complaints lodged in consumer fora like -- District Fora, State Commissions and National Disputes Redressal Commission -- continue to drag for years without any outcome.

"The cases in consumer fora, which should have been ideally settled in three months, continue for three years. So, we are considering to make it as authority," he said during Question Hour.

Paswan said government will make all efforts to revamp the consumer fora so that the interests of consumers are protected fully.

The Minister said the government will appoint the members of the proposed consumer authority through state public service commission at state level and through the Union Public Service Commission at national level.

"We want to protect the interests of the consumers at any cost," he said replying to a supplementary question. Replying to another question, Paswan said government may involve the panchayati raj institutions for better service of Public Distribution System.

Paswan said the government has budgeted to offer Rs 1,36,000 crore as subsidy for foodgrains to be distributed under PDS. The Minister said at present 621 district consumer fora, 35 state consumer commissions and at apex level National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission are functioning.

"Till July 23, 2014 a total of 41,69,564 cases have been filed and 38,01,037 cases have been disposed in all these consumer fora, thereby achieving a disposal rate of over 91 per cent," he said.

Paswan said the government has been running a multi-media campaign under the theme 'Jago Grahak Jago' to create awareness about the consumer rights and the Consumer Protection Act among the masses.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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