Consumer Issues
Consumer Care Centres to come up in over 12 cities

The Centres will provide counselling to consumers for redressal of their grievances and assist them in registering their complaints in the appropriate consumer fora


The government is in the process of setting up Consumer Care Centres (Grahak Suvidha Kendras) in more than a dozen cities in the country to provide a spectrum of services to consumers. The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) came out with new measures to strengthen the consumer protection infrastructure today.
"The Department has recently invited applications from registered and eligible voluntary consumer organisations for setting up and running Consumer Care Centres," an official release said.
The Centres will be set up at New Delhi, Lucknow, Chandigarh, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Pune, Bhubaneswar, Patna, Kolkata, Guwahati, Shillong, Raipur and Bhopal.
They will also be authorised to take up complaints with private companies/ manufacturers/ service providers on behalf of the government, it added.
According to the release, efforts are on to bring consumer grievance and helpline mechanism under one common IT platform with a single toll-free number across the country.
The government has also drawn several other plans and programmes for empowerment of consumers and their welfare.
DCA's release also said that, “Funds are given for Building and Non Building purposes Infrastructural Facilities being provided under the scheme include construction of new building of the Consumer Fora, carrying out addition/alteration/renovation of existing buildings and grant for acquiring assets such as furniture, office equipment etc.”
DCA has also said that it is setting up a network termed the CONFONET. “The consumers who have filed complaints in District Fora/State Commission/National Commission can see the cause list, case status and judgment through online sitting at their home or elsewhere,” the department's release said.
In terms of Legal Metrology, which has as yet not received the kind of attention it warrants, by virtue of its ubiquity in consumer applications, the DCA said, “Legal Metrology Division of the Department is implementing two Schemes.” The release further added that the schemes include “Strengthening of Legal Metrology Infrastructure of States/UTs- under the Scheme grant-in-Aid is released to States /UTs for the construction of Laboratory buildings and standard equipment are also provided for verification of weights and measures used in any transaction. Strengthening of five Regional Reference Laboratories and Indian institute of Legal Metrology at Ranchi – The RRSLs situated in Faridabad, Guwahati, Ahmadabad, Bangalore, and Bhubaneswar are given assistance for infrastructure development.”


Traders to intensify fight against online stores

According to CAIT, brick and mortar shops are subject to various acts, laws, rules and regulations whereas online retail business do not have any specified rules and regulations, and thus are taking undue advantage 


The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has decided to intensify their fight against online shopping portals like Flipkart, Snapdeal, Amazon and eBay. As part of their fight, the traders’ body has sent letters to all chief ministers, seeking a meeting to explain the revenue loss being suffered by the states.
"State Governments all over the Country are suffering significant revenue loss on account of consumption of goods in respective States purchased through online retail platform. Such business of online retail reflects abuse of dominance, predatory pricing, avoidance of tax liabilities, dubious funding structure and unhealthy business practices and in many cases contravention of FDI policy of the Union Government," CAIT said in the letter.
According to the traders’ body, brick and mortar shops are subject to various acts, laws, rules and regulations whereas online retail businesses do not have any specified rules and regulations, which give them more advantage to play business as per their own will and wishes.
Praveen Khandelwal, National Secretary General of CAIT said, retail traders, except online retailers are mandated to conduct business under 15 different acts. This includes Value Added Tax (VAT) Act, Central Sales Tax (CST) Act, Legal Metrology (Packaging Commodity) Act, Central Excise Act, State Excise Act, Provident Fund Act, Minimum Wages Act, ESI & Gratuity Act, Shop and Establishment Act, Consumer Protection Act, Service Tax and Cess, Income Tax Act, Essential Commodities Act, Food Safety and Standards Act and Entry Tax.
"On the other hand, online retailers are absolved of most of the above Acts, Taxes and paper formalities, which certainly gives them an advantageous position in comparison to offline trade and thus creating an uneven level playing field," he said.
According to CAIT, taking advantage of the situation, online retailers are selling goods much below the actual cost under the guise of consumer benefit. It said, "In order to control and dominate the market, they (online retailers) are selling goods even at suffering the losses. But once they are able to monopolize their business, they will certainly exploit consumers by charging high rates due to absence of any competition. We have living examples of travel and book business, which was conducted by large number of people in the country few years back and now the whole business is being controlled and monopolised by few online platforms. Such a scenario is certainly against the interests of consumers and established brick and mortar shops."
"Under the circumstances and keeping into consideration the protection of interests of the consumers and making the competition between equals, we urge that specified rules and regulations must be framed for conducting business activities on e-commerce portals,” the traders’ body said.



K M Rao

2 years ago

On a macro scale, is not e-commerce a welcome change to bring down the over all cost? Why should we feed all these middlemen / traders/ govt inspectors? May be the Govt. should think of imposing a small tax to make good the loss to the exchequer. Let the traders find some new occupation!

Kiran Aggarwal

2 years ago

the brick and mortal stores r also
extra smart !!
I still have memories of being
- given bad service
and excuses by
Brick n mortal stores.

Now when they are made to bleed by e- commerce - they are remembering all kinds 0f rules.

Well If rules give the industry a structure it is good .
I still like to buy books from stores but They have a problem
- They are profiteering in mindset
and less on value for money .
That should be changed .
Like Home delivery / Flat discount on new titles / Magazine options
- I do not find Moneylife and other good magazines bcoz book store is not open to arrange it .

SpiceJet revival plan on the cards?

SpiceJet is expected to submit the revival plan to the government today, which would include new investors


The SpiceJet stock opened the day with a sharp gap up of around 10% and stayed around 7% above its previous closing price for today's session on the Bombay Stock Exchange. 
The renewed enthusiasm was as a result of reports that the SpiceJet management was ready with a new revival plan, which it would submit to the Civil Aviation Ministry today.
Reports suggested that the airline would get investments from co-founder and current co-promoter Ajay Singh with further investment from American bank JP Morgan Chase. 
The two parties are expected to buy Kalanithi Maran's stake in the airline, which would help pump in around Rs1,200 crore and help the airline survive the current rough weather.
All officials and executives connected to the deal were understandably cagey about putting anything on record, but the market reacted positively to the news. This would also mean that more government money would not be pumped into the airline.
It is possible that if these deals go through, the Indian Civil Aviation space will have prevented losing another airline to financial troubles.


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