With a population of 120 crore plus it become imperative that India follows processes that will help protect the interest of the consumers.
To provide better facilities to the needy it was mandatory for the government of India to first of all figure out how many citizens actually needed help from the government in the form of subsidies.
Cancelling bogus ration cards:
About 66 lakh bogus ration cards have been deleted after digitisation of cards. The union government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is perusing 'End-to-end Computerisation of TPDS Operations' which comprises of activities namely,
digitisation of ration cards or beneficiary and other databases,
computerisation of supply-chain management,
setting up of transparency portals and
grievance redressal mechanisms etc.
As reported by States and UTs, total 65,99,129 bogus or ineligible ration cards have been deleted during the last three years after computerisation.
The Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Mr. Ram Vilas Paswan said that, "Due to constant monitoring of the project through meetings, Video Conferences, visits, letters and advisories with States and UTs to review their progress and problems faced etc. There have been significant achievements in implementation of the project."
Grahak Suvidha Kendras:
Mr. Ram Vilas Paswan briefed media about Central Consumer Protection Council (CCPC) view that there should be guidelines for brand ambassadors of products and services and in the case of gross misrepresentation of the facts or misleading advertisements, brand ambassadors should also be made responsible.
The Consumer Affairs Minister said that "Grahak Suvidha Kendras" set up by his Ministry are being directed to take up consumer complaints with the sector regulators or consumer courts on behalf of consumers. He said that so far five such centers have been set up in Ahmadabad, Bangalore, Jaipur, Kolkata, Patna and Delhi. More will be set up in other parts of the country soon.
Mr. Paswan also informed that National Consumer Helpline is being strengthened; its capacity to attend consumer complaints is being enhanced three times more.
The Consumer Affairs Minister said that the Government has taken reports of charging more than MRP of products at some places, on some pretext, seriously. Recently a consumer court has also given judgment against overcharging. Government's agencies have been asked to take stringent and action and to start mass campaign to create awareness against it.
Expressing concern over poor infrastructure at consumer courts in general, Mr. Paswan said that the State Governments have been requested to provide necessary support the courts working in their respective states.
A committee headed by Justice Arjit Pasayat, Retired Supreme Court Judge has been set up in January this year, is already looking into the matter. It will submit its recommendations to improve functioning of consumer courts by the end of this month, he said.