Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs, Smt. Leena Nandan today addressed a Press Conference on the theme “Taking Consumer Rights to the Citizens”. While briefing the media, Smt. Nandan said that our motto is to increase Consumer Outreach, improve Consumer Grievance Redressal and to take proactive initiatives for Consumer Protection to strengthen consumer movement in India. On this occasion, Secretary Smt. Leena Nandan also released a booklet on Consumer Protection Act.
Secretary Smt. Nandan further informed to the press that various Consumer outreach initiatives have been started by the department, particularly for the Rural Consumer. These initiatives were undertaken through Panchayats, Common Service Centers, Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Post offices and Railways. She informed that interactions with Panchayats in Jharkhand organised on National Consumer Day i.e 24th December 2020 and Bihar on 5th March 2021. Outreach programmes are also planned in Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh and gradually and it is planned to cover all the States.
Secretary also informed that on an average 70,000 complaints are registered at National Consumer Helpline every month. Out of this E- Commerce Sector related grievance comprise of 22% of total grievances. Other Sectors which have significant number of grievances are Banking (8.6%) and telecom (7.7%) of total grievances. The number of convergence companies on the NCH Platform has increased from 403 in 2017-18 to 647 and with 98.5% of grievance redressal during April – December 2020.
Informing about the eDaakhil portal of DoCA , the Secretary said Government of India through NIC has launched the E-daakhil portal. The portal simplifies filing of complaints by consumers. Consumer can file complaint online from anywhere for the redressal of their complaints. So far 17 States and NCDRC have adopted the e-daakhil portal and it is available at 449 locations. 13,944 users have registered on eDaakhil portal. 933 fresh consumer complaints have been filed using e Daakhil and 5,486 existing cases have migrated e Daakhil.
Further, she informed about the action taken by CCPA, she said 172 notices have been issued since October 2020, 37 for misleading advertisement and unfair trade practice and 135 for Violation of Declarations under Packaged Commodity Rules (including Country of Origin). She said after analysing the complaints CCPA has requested IRDA (Insurance Regulator) for early settlements of claims, TRAI (telecom regulator) for resolving portability, network , broad band related issues and RBI for adhering to adhering to timelines settlement of claims.
She also informed that during Covid-19 times many instances noticed of misleading advertisements such boost immunity , protects from Covid-19, virus killing, kills 99.9% virus/ germ- Therefore an advisory was issued on 21st January 2021 requesting industry associations requested to give wide publicity to provisions of Consumer Protection Act 2019 regarding misleading advertisements.