Need to strengthen the consumer protection mechanism

There is urgent need to improve the consumer protection mechanism in the free market economy stressed senior journalist Mr. Rajendra Prasad Bora during the State Level Feedback Round Table Consultation organized by CUTS in Hotel Jaipur Palace today. He said lack of awareness is the main cause of consumer exploitation but only awareness without proper support mechanism is not sufficient for protecting the right of consumers.

The consultation was organized under a three year project titled ‘Grassroots Reachout and Networking in Rajasthan through Consumer Action (GRANIRCA) implemented by CUTS in partnership with the Dept. of Consumer Affairs, Govt. of India in 12 districts of Rajasthan to build a stronger consumer movement at the grassroots.

Marking the conclusion of the activities of two years, the consultation was organized to consolidate and share the key learning gained from various districts, under the project with various stakeholders and to identify the points for advocacy.

Delivering the introductory remarks Director CUTS, Mr. George Cheriyan said that this is the silver jubilee year of our Consumer protection Act, 1986 but majority of consumers are not aware of their rights. State Consumer Protection Council is not constituted in Rajasthan; there is lack of food testing laboratories in state required to check food adulteration.

Dr. Poonam Pande, Project Associate GIZ from New Delhi shared information about Consumer Advisory Network and IT platform developed by GIZ for assisting consumers in grievance redressal.

CUTS Senor Programme Coordinator Deepak Saxena made presentation on project progress and findings of field research done under the project in the year two. The research showed that 63% consumers have not heard about consumer protection Act in Rajasthan. Amarjeet Singh summed up the discussion saying that state government has taken various steps for consumer protection on advocacy issues raised during project and hopefully will take further action to strengthen the protection mechanism, if the all the consumer activists are raising their voice together.

The consultation was attended by more than 60 participants, comprising of common consumers, media and CSO representatives from 12 project districts and provided suggestions for advocacy issues related to consumers and for project activities.

For more information please contact:
Amarjeet Singh, Project Coordinator
CUTS Center for Consumer Action, Research & Training (CUTS- CART)
D-222, Bhaskar Marg, Bani Park Jaipur 302 016, India
Ph: 91.141.5133259, 2282 823/2282 482
Mob: 91. 9829015812; Fax: 91.141. 4015395