Haryana to start state consumer helpline

Times of India, August 22, 2012

A ‘State Consumer Helpline’ will be set up in Haryana soon on the pattern of National Consumer Helpline to make the consumers aware of their rights and to redress their grievances promptly. Also, Consumer Advice Center would be set up in each district of the State.

Deputy Director, Haryana Food and Supplies Department N.K. Mittal while addressing a Seminar on “Indian Consumers in the New Age: A forward looking Agenda to Address the Concerns of the Common People” organized said on Wednesday.

The seminar was organized by CUTS International, a Non Government Organization (NGO) in collaboration with Citizen Awareness Group.

Mittal said that the ‘State Consumer Helpline’ a toll free helpline would be set up at the head-quarter of Haryana Food and Supplies Department, Chandigarh. The consumers from any part of the State could contact this helpline in case of any grievances. Trained staff of this helpline would not only guide the consumers properly for the redressal of their grievances but also educate them about their rights.

The consumers would be able to lodge their complaints online, he further added. He said that a similar toll free helpline of Central Government was already operational at Delhi University, which was catering to the need of a large number of consumers.

Mittal said that Consumer Advice Centers which were in the final stages of implementation would give thrust to the consumer awareness campaign of the State Government. Throwing light on the various activities being carried out by the State Government regarding consumer awareness, he said that National Consumer Day and World Consumer Day were celebrated on December 24 and March 15 every year besides giving wide publicity of various mass awareness campaigns in media. He also highlighted the role of media in generating public awareness.

Mittal said that ‘Consumer Protection Act-1986 ‘was enacted about 25 years back to generate awareness among the people about consumer affairs. He said that though strenuous efforts were being made by the Central Government, State Governments and also the NGOs at their own level for creating awareness among the people of their rights, we were far away from achieving the desired results. “Our targets should be the rural areas were the people are comparatively less educated and remained busy in their daily chores and have no time to address such issues”, he added. He also stressed that the officers of concerned departments should be more responsive to redress the grievances of the consumers promptly.

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