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Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Commemorative Postage Stamp on the Consumer Protection Act Issued

On the completion of the enactment of Consumer Protection Act (CPA), 1986, a commemorative postal stamp was issued by the president of India, Shri Pranab Mukhrji here today.

On the occasion Prof. K.V. Thomas, minister of state of consumer affairs, food and public distribution said that 1986 was a watershed year in the history of consumer movement in India that witnessed the enactment of the consumer protection act – the ‘magna carta’ legislation aimed at protecting the interests of consumers that they do not fall victims to the unfair trade practices and sub-standard services in the market place. He said that the special feature of this act is to provide speedy and inexpensive mechanism to redress the grievances of the consumer, and award compensation wherever appropriate. The act ensures consumer rights such as the right of choice, safety, information, public hearing and consumer education.

The minister said India’s 1.2 billion consumers are the lifeblood of our economy. “A vibrant economy depends on effective demand from consumers for affordable quality products and services. Among the consumers, the disadvantaged groups, particularly vulnerable low-income earners, the unemployed, the physically and mentally challenged need our special attention. This is why, more than ever, we need a well-conceived, empowered and pro-active consumer policy”, he asserted.

Prof Thomas said that it is a fact that the consumer movement in India gathered momentum with the enactment of the CPA, credit for which goes to our former prime minister, late Shri Rajiv Gandhi who had given a new thrust to the quality movement in India so that India could move into the 21st century with pride. This unparalleled act provides for the establishment of three tier disputes redressal machinery, consisting of the national commission, state commission and district fora. Since one of the most important consumer rights is the right to seek redressal, the act provides the consumers with a welcome alternative from the lengthy proceedings of civil court. at present, there are 627 district forums and 35 state commissions, apart from national commission, functioning in the country, with a disposal rate as high as 92%. , he said.

Highlighting the importance of consumer awareness, Prof Thomas said that provisions of consumer protection act alone may not be sufficient for consumers to assert their rights under this act. Amongst the various efforts undertaken by the government, consumer information and education remain the two most important areas of concentration as they are the most effective means to counter the malpractices of the manufacturers and the market forces. Therefore, the department of consumer affairs is running a massive consumer awareness campaign under the slogan “jago grahak jago”. Joint campaigns are being taken up with other ministries/ departments which have consumer interface. Towards this end in view, the department has used railway tickets, utility bills and post cards to reach remote parts of the country.

Minister of state of communications and Information Technology, Dr Kruparani gave the special features of the commemorative stamp and its objective. Issued in the denomination of Rs 5/, stamp shows consumer uniting against the banner ‘Jago Grahak Jago’. 
Source : PIB, 29 Nov 2012

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