Govt to initiate fresh reforms to protect, safeguard consumer rights: Minister

Govt to initiate fresh reforms to protect, safeguard consumer rights: Minister
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Cautions people against online frauds

JAMMU: Minister for Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs (FCS&CA) and Tribal Affairs, Choudhary Zulfkar Ali on Wednesday said that government was working under a well-knit strategy to bring new reforms to protect, safeguard consumer rights and is taking efforts to transition towards digital mode for transactions for transparent and fair trade.
He said that government was working to bring new reforms/amendments for enhancing consumer protection act to encompass protections for digital transactions and online frauds. He said that this was essential to keep pace with the changes in markets to ensure fair, equitable and consistent outcomes for consumers; and to enable swift executive intervention to prevent consumer detriment.
“This is the age of technology; the current user base for digital transactions in India is about 90 million which could triple to 300 million by 2020. With ever growing user base in the country it is essential that the government takes necessary measures to educate the consumer besides providing them a proper platform to redress their grievances,” the minister said this while speaking on the theme “Making Digital Marketplaces Fairer” during the World Consumer Rights Day 2018 celebrations organised by FCS&CA department.
Zulfkar, calling for active partnership among all stakeholders, said that promoting and protecting the rights of consumers required joint initiatives of the department and the business community which would be “instrumental in protecting the interests of the consumers”.
He asserted that the government was making all efforts in facilitating the consumers to harness full benefits of digitisation and putting in place sufficient safeguards against risks associated with the online world.
The minister, appreciating e-governance Initiatives especially, ‘the Digital India’ program, said that this campaign was slowly bringing transparency and was transforming india into a “digitally empowered society and knowledge economy”.
Elaborating on the initiatives, the minister said that the government has constituted State Consumer Redressal Commission, and district forums besides State Consumer Protection Council and District Consumer Protection Council in every district of the state.
Highlighting the achievements of the department under the present dispensation, Zulfkar Ali said that “unprecedented strides towards development have been achieved like NFSA, digitalisation of public distribution system”.
Chairman SCDRC, Justice Sunil Hali speaking on the occasion said as the markets were globalising, the direct link between the manufacturer and the final user was getting distant; the post purchase grievances had to be heard through a strong redressal system. “For this, consumer disputes redressal agencies (popularly known as Consumer Forums or Consumer Courts) are set up under the act at district, state and national level to provide simple and inexpensive quick redressal against consumer complaints,” he added.
On the occasion, a cultural programme was performed by the artists of Information and Public Relations department and a short play based on the theme “Jago Grahak Jago.