Consumer Forums at district levels to be made fully functional

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16th meeting of SCPC

SRINAGAR, OCTOBER 21: Minister for CA&PD Ch Zulfkar Ali today said that District level Consumer Forums would be refurbished and revived to ensure prompt consumer grievance redressal. He also called for filling up of vacancies in Consumer Forum on fast track basis.

Chairing 16th meeting of State Consumer Protection Council at SKICC, Minister said that the government is serious about effective functioning of Divisional and District Consumer Forums set up in the State to protect and safeguard Consumer rights and interests.

“For better services and early redressal of public grievances, State Consumer Protection Council (SCPC) have been reconstituted after a gap of four years,  while efforts are also afoot to refurbish existing Consumer Forums both at Divisional and District levels to make them fully functional, the Minister added.

The meeting held deliberations on several issues with regard to consumers’ welfare including consumer services, check on packed eatables and intensive market checking to curb profiteering and hoarding, besides reviewing action taken report of previous meetings.

Stressing on effective implementation of Consumer Protection Laws, the Minister said the government will leave no stone unturned to bring new legislation or amend existing one,  to the extent that it will have far-reaching impact on recalling faulty or fake products, product liability, mediation and testing, as consumers are one of the most important resources. He said it is duty of the government to guarantee their welfare and protect their rights .He also said that need of the hour is to make enforcement mechanism more effective by reviewing penalization for different violations. He also hinted for giving teeth to existing rules and procedures to check unfair trade practices.

Elaborating on significance of awareness programmes, Zulfkar directed directors CA&PD to involve NGOs for promoting awareness among consumers. He also directed the department to set up complaint cells at district level for prompt response and grievance redressal.

Earlier, members raised various issues of consumer concern and sought government intervention in price fixation of different commodities including building material, surgical equipment, medicines and presence of hazardous ingredients in consumable items.

Responding to issues, the Minister assured that the meetings of Price Committee shall be conducted on monthly basis, so that measures are taken to regulate prices. He also said that market checking flying squads have been activated to intensify market checking. He also directed Deputy Commissioners to fix and notify rates of bricks and to publish the same in newspapers for information of consumers.

While welcoming suggestions from various members, Zulfkar assured them that the department would consider these in improving functioning of the department and sought their support in making SCPC   a vibrant body.

Among others Secretary CA&PD, Director, CA&PD Kashmir, Director CA&PD Jammu, representatives of trade and industries, representatives of consumer organization and other officers of CA&PD department attended the meeting.

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