Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Textiles, Shri Piyush Goyal today emphasised that the consumer empowerment is going to be a paramount feature of a developed India and called for keeping consumers at the centre of all the initiatives. He was addressing at the event held to celebrate the National Consumers Day in New Delhi today.
The Union Minister applauded the Consumer Affairs Department for launching various initiatives and for their outstanding achievements. He also appreciated the Consumer Commissions across the country for their focussed effort on speedy disposal of cases. He noted that those approaching Helplines for complaints are largely from small companies, are devoid of technical knowledge and can’t afford assistance and reaffirmed the need for speedy disposal of cases. He stressed that it is therefore incumbent on all of us to put in an extra effort with a very sensitive approach to help them navigate through various processes and deliver justice in a time bound manner.
Referring to the theme of today, i.e. “Effective disposal of cases in consumer commissions” the Minister said it resonates with the approach of the Government, which is based on ensuring speedy justice not only to consumers who have complained but to the nation at large. He further added that a lot of effort is being made by the government under the guidance of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to make it easier- both, for business and for consumers.
Shri Goyal highlighted that the initiatives undertaken by the Consumer Affairs Department resonate with the three significant themes that have been articulated by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi— “Convergence, Capacity Building and Climate Change”.
On convergence, the Minister spoke about the efforts being made to make compliance burden easier, for businesses and for the common citizen. He added that in the last few years, over 1500 redundant laws have been removed from the statute, about 39,000 compliances have been simplified and a number of minor offences have been decriminalised.
He also said that the Government on Thursday came out with a comprehensive bill, ‘Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Bill, 2022’ to decriminalise minor offences for ease of doing business and ease of living.
Over 100 provisions in different laws pertaining to 19 Ministries are sought to be decriminalised by this Bill. He added that this is inline with the approach of the government to work in convergence in a spirit of the whole of the government.
On Capacity Building, Shri Goyal spoke of Mission KarmaYogi as a unique initiative to retrain ourselves in order to be equipped to serve the people better. He noted that over 3000 persons engaged with the consumer redressal mechanism are also being trained under this programme to upgrade their knowledge to be able to deliver justice by effective and timely redressal of grievances. He suggested that some modules can be created for taking the consumer awareness programs to the last man.
On Climate change, the Minister said the Government is taking up various initiatives to contribute to the global effort for mitigating the impacts of Climate Change. ‘Mission life- lifestyle for environment’, is an integral part of the approach aiming for a better future for our children, a better planet for the next generations.
He also appreciated the Consumer Affairs Department for using technology in bringing transparency in the working and other initiatives like the consumer helpline. He noted that the National Helpline which had only 2 languages earlier, has added seven more languages today, with this it will provide services in 12 languages, catering to the wider consumer bases conversing in their mother tongue.
He emphasised that 3 T’s – Technology, Training and Transparency will take us towards greater consumer awareness and greater service to our consumers.
The Minister quoted John F. Kennedy, “if consumers are offered inferior products, if the consumer is unable to choose on an informed basis, then his money is wasted and the national interest suffers”. He called upon consumers to become more demanding for good quality and the right price of the product. He concluded by expressing hope that with a collective effort of all of us, we will be able to make a difference to the lives of every single Indian in this country.