SRINAGAR: The state’s Legal Metrology Department (LMD) will be given magisterial powers for “effective and timely” redressal of consumers’ grievances, the Minister for Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution Department (CAPD), Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali, announced Monday.
“The Ordinance for Hoarding and Profiteering will be implemented in coming time to keep a close vigil on overcharging and fraudulent practices. LMD will be given magisterial powers for effective and timely redressal of consumers’ grievances.” Ali said at the consumer awareness programme organised by the Consumer Protection Organisation in collaboration with YCET College in Jammu.
Underscoring the need for total commitment and social responsiveness to consumer cause, the CAPD Minister called for “active involvement” of stakeholders in “effective implementation” of the Consumer Protection laws.
“There is dire need for launching a vigorous campaign to make people conscious and aware about their rights and responsibilities,” he said. The purpose of any act or law, he said, “is realised only when the public become conscious of their duties to follow their respective model code, both as consumers and the service renders.”
“Every individual, irrespective of his position, is a customer in one or the other way,” he added.
Laying stress on people’s participation in effective implementation of Consumer Protection Laws, Ali said the effectiveness of policies, schemes and programmes of the government depends on the involvement of the institutions and the people.
“For this purpose, the concerned bodies should launch massive awareness programmes in urban as well as rural areas for educating common masses,” he said.
Reaffirming the government’s commitment to provide better services, he said the consumers’ interest shall be protected by “infusing accountability and efficiency in the system”.
The Minister informed that the fruits and vegetable sellers were asked to display signboard depicting day-to-day rates for the consumers’ convenience.
Price committee meeting will also be convened from time to time to reassess the rates of essential commodities, he said.