Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (FCS&CA) and Information, Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali today called for creating mass awareness about consumer rights and strengthening the mechanism for redressing public grievances.
The Minister was addressing students, consumer rights activists, civil society members, traders and government functionaries during a function organized by FCS&CA Department to mark the State Consumer Rights Day here at Government College for Woman, Gandhi Nagar.
The programme was organized to generate awareness among youth regarding J&K Consumer Protection Act,1987.
Also present were Controller LMD, Vipra Behl, Director FCS&CA, RA Inqlabi, Joint Director, Information, Manisha Sareen, Principal GCW, Kaushal Samotra, representatives of Chamber of Commerce , Traders Federation and NGOs were also present on the occasion.
Highlighting the need for generating massive awareness on consumer rights among general populace, the Minister said “jago grahak jago” should be the watch word for one and all .
He said that the suitable yardstick for assessing the ground impact of the law is implementation of redressal mechanism as specified in the Act.
“Good trade practices including availability of quality products, for which the government and stakeholders are striving, will help in confidence building measures among the consumers thus creating win- win situation for all” the Minister asserted.
He further said that fines and penalties for violation of rules also reflects the level of monitoring mechanism and quality standards required to be maintained in goods and services whether education, food, medicine and other day to day consumer commodities.
He also talked about new challenges faced to the government for safeguarding the consumer rights with the advent of online shopping. He opined that the roll out of Goods and Services (GST) envisaging single taxation system will also help in further strengthening of the act.
Meanwhile, the college students also presented their views on consumer rights – right to choose, right to information, right to be heard, right to redressal, right to consumer education and right to safety. They called upon all the stakeholders including customers, government agencies, NGOs to work in tandem to evolve best trade practices.
Nav Durga Kala Manch presented a skit highlighting the importance of consumer awareness about their rights, quality of services and goods against the value paid, taking decisions as consumers by checking the validity, expiry date, MRP, quality and quantity.
Earlier, the Minister chaired a meeting to review the arrangements for upcoming Eid-ul-Azha including availability of consumer goods, market checking to regulate rates and quality of meat , chicken and other eatables, besides the availability of sacrificial animals .
The meeting was attended by Divisional Commissioner Dr Mandeep K Bhandari , IGP Dr S D Singh, Deputy Commissioner, Jammu Kumar Rajeev Ranjan, Director FCS&CA, R A Inqalabi, and representatives from PHE , PDD , JMC, Fire Services, Health services , Drugs and Food Control Organisation.
Stressing on strict price regulation of essential commodities, the Minister directed the district administration to constitute inspection squads comprising functionaries from LMD, Revenue, Police and Drug Control and Food Safety departments.
The Minister directed district administration to ensure that sacrificial animals are sold at the indentified mandies and designated officers from FCS&CA and team of doctors from animal and sheep husbandry department ensure that good quality and disease free animals are being procured by the people.
He further directed the Divisional Commissioner to issue a circular to all districts for making elaborate arrangements for Eid as per the needs and geographical condition of the area.