Citizens' Issues
Amendments to the Consumer Protection Act, a step in the right direction

Under the proposed amendments, non compliance with the order of the consumer forums could attract a penalty. It also has a provision facilitating online filing of complaints

In order to facilitate quick disposal of consumer cases, the government has proposed amendments to the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. Under the proposed amendments, non compliance with the order of the consumer forums could attract a penalty. It also has a provision facilitating online filing of complaints.
 
The ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution, on 16th December had introduced Consumer Protection (Amendment) Bill, 2011, in Lok Sabha.

The proposed amendments include a provision where the order of the consumer courts—district, state and national will be enforced as a decree of a civil court.
Accordingly, to ensure compliance of the orders of consumer courts, it has a proposed an amendment to make a provision where a person not complying with the order of district forum, state commission and national commission  could be fined with Rs500 or 1.5% of the penalty amount. The ministry says, “This modification is considered essential in view of the experiences gained during implementation of the amended Act and is intended to deter wilful offenders and also to ensure speedy and proper execution of the orders of the consumer forums, so that justice to the aggrieved consumers is not frustrated.”

The amendments also include a provision where consumer can register a complaint online and pay the fees using the online platform to make the consumer move towards e-governance and time-bound redressal.

The proposed amendments also call for maintaining periodical reports of pending cases of consumer courts to monitor the functions of the forums. It has a provision to increase the minimum age for appointment as a member to improve the quality of persons applying for these posts. In the case of state commissions, it would be 45 years from 35 years and in case of national commission, it would be increased from 35 to 55 years. It has also proposed to increase the period of experience for appointment as member of a state commission from 10 years to 20 years, and 10 to 30 years in case of National Commission.

The proposed amendments seek to give additional powers to the district forum. It says that the state commission should allow the district forum to function in places other than its headquarters. To deal with the non-functionality of district forums due to vacancy of president/members, neighbouring districts forum could be clubbed and additional charge to president/members can be given to hear cases in more than one district forum.

It also gives powers to the national and state commission to direct any expert of organization to assist it in the in the cases of large consumer interest.

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COMMENTS

rajyelsangikar

4 years ago

I have a query to ask that I have obtained decree from consumer court in 2003. Now the EP proceedings are under way. Wheather the penalty of rs.500 per day of non compliance of court decree in my case is counted from 2003 to till date. Please clarify.

Narendra Doshi

5 years ago

Can we pl have the online filing web address? tks

Vikas Gupta

5 years ago

It would be great to have these proposed amendments implemented as early as possible.

Food inflation turns negative; drops to (-) 3.36% in the week ended 24 Dec

This is the first time in almost six years, for which data with base year 2004-05 is available, that food inflation has shown a decline on an annual basis. Commenting on the decline, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said, “There has been substantial improvement. Food inflation has turned negative for the first time in recent memory”

New Delhi: India’s food inflation entered the negative zone at (-) 3.36% for the week ended 24th December as prices of essential items like vegetables, onion, potato and wheat declined, reports PTI.

“There has been substantial improvement. Food inflation has turned negative for the first time in recent memory,” finance minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters here.

This is the first time in almost six years, for which data with base year 2004-05 is available, that food inflation has shown a decline on an annual basis.

Food inflation, as measured by Wholesale Price Index (WPI), stood at 0.42% in the previous week. It was almost 21% in the corresponding week of 2010.

According to the official data released on Thursday, onions became cheaper by 73.74% year-on-year during the week under review, while potato prices were down by 34.01%.

Prices of wheat also fell by 3.41%.

Overall, vegetables became 50.22% cheaper during the week ended 24th December.

The fall in the rate of price rise of food items has been substantial since the first week of November, when it stood at double-digit.

Experts feel that the decline in food inflation will be a major incentive for the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to look at the option of key interest rate cuts at its next quarterly monetary policy review later this month.

However, other food products became more expensive on an annual basis, led by protein-based items.

Pulses were 13.85% costlier during the week under review, while milk turned dearer by 9.49%. Eggs, meat and fish prices were up 13.82% year-on-year.

Fruits also became 10.87% more expensive on an annual basis, while cereal prices were up 1.97%.

Inflation in the overall primary articles category stood at 0.1% during the week ended 24th December against 2.7% in the previous week. Primary articles have a weightage of over 20% in the wholesale price index.

Inflation in the non-food segment, which includes fibres and oilseeds, was recorded at 0.85% during the week under review against 0.28% in the week ended 17th December. Fuel and power inflation stood at 14.60% (14.37%).

Headline inflation, which also factors in manufactured items, has been above the 9% mark since December 2010. It stood at 9.11% in November this year.

The RBI has hiked interest rates 13 times since March 2010 to tame demand and curb inflation.

In its second quarterly review of the monetary policy last month, the central bank had said it expects inflation to remain elevated till December on account of the demand-supply mismatch before moderating to 7% by March 2012.

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Major fire at IGI Airport, offices of airlines gutted

The first floor of the cargo building that houses the offices of around 20 airlines and the HR department of Celebi, the ground handling services company, which manages cargo operations at IGI Airport, was completely gutted

New Delhi: A major fire swept through the cargo terminal of Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport here in the wee hours of Thursday, gutting offices of several international airlines but no cargo was lost, reports PTI.

The blaze erupted between 12.45am and 1:00am in the first floor of the cargo terminal, located near the Air Traffic Control (ATC) building, which houses offices of around 20 international airlines, including Air India, Air Sri Lanka and others.

Initially, airport sources said the maintenance staff tried to douse the flames with the fire fighting arrangements at the cargo complex but failed to contain the fire.

The fire brigade was informed at around 1.15am only, police and fire brigade officials said.

“There is no damage to cargo. No cargo has been lost. No one was injured,” a spokesperson for Delhi International Airport (DIAL), which operates the IGI Airport, said.

Thirty-three fire tenders were rushed to spot which doused the fire in five hours at around 6.30am.

The first floor of the cargo building that houses the offices of around 20 airlines and the HR department of Celebi, the ground handling services company, which manages cargo operations at IGI Airport, was completely gutted.

“The fire broke out in the import section of the cargo terminal.

There are three buildings housing the import section and the fire broke out in the second building. All the offices have been gutted. There was no one in the office as it was night hours,” the officials said.

The cause of fire is yet to be ascertained though a short circuit is suspected to be the cause of the blaze.

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