- On the ‘right to repair’ portal, manufacturers will share the manual of product details with customers so that they can either repair by self, by third parties, rather than depend on original manufacturers. Initially, mobile phones, electronic, consumer durables, automobile and farming equipment will be covered.
Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal has recently launched a host of new initiatives, including the right to repair portal and an NTH mobile app and opened new premises of National Consumer Helpline centre in Delhi.
The Consumer Affairs Department and IIT (BHU), Varanasi has signed a memorandum of understanding and launched a capacity building programme of consumer commissions.
On the occasion of the National Consumer Day, the Minister of State for Food and Consumer Affairs Sadhvi Niranjan Jyothi; Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh; National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) President R K Agrawal were also present at the event along with Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal.
On the ‘right to repair’ portal, manufacturers will share the manual of product details with customers so that they can either repair by self, by third parties, rather than depend on original manufacturers. Initially, mobile phones, electronic, consumer durables, automobile and farming equipment will be covered.
Speaking on the theme “Effective disposal of cases in consumer commission” on the occasion of National Consumer Day, Goyal lauded the consumer commissions for disposing of a higher number of pending cases in the last six months and expressed confidence in eliminating the backlog of cases across the country.
Goyal said that there will be a ramp up in the disposal of pending cases and elimination of the backlog in the days to come. He further stated that the ministry is making efforts keeping in mind what the prime minister has articulated — convergence, capacity building and climate change to make consumers’ life easier and promote ease of doing business.
Notably, under the Consumer Protection law, a complaint is required to be disposed of within 90 days of its filing and within 150 days wherever expert evidence is required to be taken.
NCDRC President R K Agrawal said, “No one expects a case to be decided overnight. However, difficulty arises when the actual time taken for disposal of the case far exceeds its expected life span and a question is raised about the efficacy and efficiency of consumer commissions.”
Among others, he also suggested clubbing of similar or connected matters, granting at least limited financial autonomy to the consumer commissions, reducing unnecessary adjournments besides following the principles of natural justice and adjudication through summary trials.
Meanwhile, Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh said the department held a special drive ‘Lok Adalat’ and ‘Grahak Madhyastata Samadhan’ to settle the pending cases and such initiatives will be continued in future.
Talking about future challenges facing consumers due to technology advancement, Singh said that Meta verse, dark patterns in advertising and banned ads on social media are some aspects that the department needs to analyse the regulatory landscape to protect the consumer interest and make it safe.
(Inputs from PTI)
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