Bengal Minister Slams Centre for Ignoring Consumer Protection

COF in an initiative is looking for the nation\'s most consumer-friendly state and is holding talks with state governments to discuss ranking parameters.

Published: 28th April 2015 03:56 PM  |   Last Updated: 28th April 2015 04:03 PM   |  A+A-

Kolkata: Slamming the Centre for ignoring consumer rights' protection, West Bengal Consumer Affairs Minister Sadhan Pande on Tuesday said it needs to allocate more funds to the states.

"The prime minister has held talks with many foreign dignitaries but he has not looked into the problems of the consumers. He has not attended a single meeting with the (union) consumer (rights' protection) ministers," Pande said.

"The government of India is still not putting stress on consumers and their rights," he said at an event here organised by the Consumer Online Foundation (COF) in association with the central consumer affairs department. 

COF in an initiative is looking for the nation's most consumer-friendly state and is holding talks with state governments to discuss ranking parameters.

Pande said of the Rs.140 crore allocated in the union budget for consumer affairs this year, Rs.70 crore has been earmarked for "Jago Grahak" campaign of Doordarshan, and Rs.30 crore for related advertising.

It is good that the government is spending money to raise awareness but there have to be results, he said.

He said the government needs to strengthen the consumer grievance cells across the country and these cells need to be equipped with statutory powers to function efficiently.

"We have plans to come up with state consumer affair forums in Siliguri and Asansol in north Bengal and have land ready for it." 

The minister said his government was able to take up several consumer-related issues in the past years, including forgery in hallmarked gold.

A senior official from the state's consumer department said every year, each of the states' consumer departments receives less than Rs.1 crore from the Centre. This sum is insufficient for it to function effectively, he added.


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