Lok Sabha on Thursday passed the Consumer Protection Bill, 2018 that seeks to replace the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
The bill is meant to protect those who use new technologies such as e-commerce and online shopping. The district Commissions are authorised to look into complaints involving claims worth one crore rupees, which was 20 lakh rupees earlier. Under the clause of product liability, a manufacturer will be liable to compensation for products with defects.
The State Commissions’ limit is to be increased from one crore rupees to 15 crore rupees. Complaints over and above that limit would be handled by the National Commission. The Bill also seeks to impose stringent punishment for food adulterations.
The Bill was passed after a very short discussion as members of the Congress and the AIADMK intensified their slogan-shouting. While the Congress demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the Rafale deal, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka members were protesting over the Cauvery issue. TDP MPs were demanding the special category status for Andhra Pradesh and a steel plant.
Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Ram Vilas Paswan moved the Bill for further consideration in the post-lunch session. He said, the prevailing act is thirty-two years old, which does not reflect conditions in the current consumer market.
The Bill enforces consumer rights and provides a mechanism for redressal of complaints regarding deficiencies in goods and services. It seeks to establish Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions at District, State and National levels.
(featured image : News Nation)