New Delhi, Mar 18: The government on Wednesday launched a dedicated portal to help consumers register their grievances against misleading advertisements.
On a pilot basis, 'Grahak Suvidha Kendra' was also launched in six cities including Delhi and Ahmedabad. "Misleading ads have become a big problem. Some advertisements claim that a particular medicine will help increasing height of a person or help bald person grow hair...Such claims are dubious and unverified. We are taking this issue seriously," Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said after launching the portal.
A dedicated portal 'www.gama.gov.in' has been put in place as there was no single platform available to address consumers' complaints against misleading advertisements, he said.
Paswan further said that though the government is committed to consumer protection, but it alone cannot adequately address all the challenges and urged all stakeholders to work together.
Consumer Affairs Secretary Keshave Desiraju said that comprehensive amendments to the Consumer Protection Act as well as the Bureau of Indian Standards Act have been finalised to ensure timely executions to ensure quality and safety of goods and services, prevention of unfair trade practices, address the problem of misleading advertisements and provide for speedy and affordable consumer grievance redress.
Sharing about the portal, Desiraju said that the complaints registered on the portal will be taken up by authorities in the state or the central government concerned and appropriate action would be taken on complaints. Any consumer in any part of the country can register on the portal and can lodge a complaint against misleading advertisements.
The portal also enables consumers to be informed of the action taken. The portal will be linked to all state authorities concerned, select voluntary organisations in the country and the sector regulators.
Besides portal, Paswan unveiled 'Grahak Suvidha Kendra' -- a one stop centre that will provide a host of services to consumers under one roof. The Kendras are being launched on a pilot basis in Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Jaipur, Kolkata and Patna.
Based on the performance of these pilot centres, a decision to extend the scheme to other parts will be explored. Currently, the Centre is running the 'National Consumer Helpline' where consumers can lodge telephonic complaints regarding their grievances.
It has also assisted 22 states to set up and run state help lines in regional languages.