World Consumer Rights Day
NEW DELHI: Minister for Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali Wednesday said that Jammu and Kashmir Government has accorded top priority to the protection of consumer rights and achieve the goal of ‘Building a Digital World Consumers can Trust’- the theme for this year’s World Consumer rights Day.
The Minister was speaking at a programme organized here today to commemorate World Consumer Rights Day. The programme was presided over by Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan, while Union Minister for Law, Justice and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad was Chief Guest and Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, C R Chaudhary was guest of honor.
The programme was also attended by Ministers and Secretaries of majority of Indian states along with other stakeholders.
Highlighting the importance of the World Consumer Rights Day, Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali said that the occasion provides an opportunity to the government and the stakeholders to discuss and devise strategies to address the crucial issue of protection of consumers’ rights. He said these rights need to be respected and protected by curbing the market abuses and social injustices.
Referring to J&K, Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali said that Consumer Protection has been a top priority of the State government and it has taken some far reaching measures in this regard. He said to attend and address the complaints of the Consumers state has established a strong Consumer grievance redress mechanism.
“This year’s World Consumer Rights Day theme of ‘Building a Digital World Consumers can Trust’ is the need of the hour. Jammu & Kashmir Government has digitized whole data thus revolutionizing the monitoring mechanism. The State Consumer Department boasts of 100 percent digitized data and now it is heading towards installation of Point of Sale Machines” the Minister said adding that electronic Public Distribution will bring total transparency and accountability in the system.
The Minister further said that J&K has also laid thrust on strengthening enforcement wings for safeguarding Consumer rights. “In Jammu province during 2016, 3109 persons were booked and 3049 compounded, realizing fine to the tune of Rs 3771850. Similarly department booked 1997 erring traders in Kashmir and a penal sum of Rs 1630400 was slapped on the defaulters” the Minister informed. He added that the department also booked some MNCs for violating the norms of labeling while some were booked for carrying smudged MRPs on the labels. He added that some MNCs were booked for charging more than MRP and also for indulging in over-charging on text- books and stationery items.
The Minister said that Consumer Helpline Toll Free Numbers have already been started and people are responding to these numbers. He added that State Consumer Protection Council has been strengthened while District Consumer Forums have been constituted to safeguard the interests of the Consumers.