Consumer Protection Bill Current Affairs
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The Lok Sabha has passed the Consumer Protection Bill, 2018 on 20th December 2018, which will replace the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. The Bill seeks to enforce consumer rights and to offer a mechanism for complaint redressal related to the deficiencies in goods and services.
Key points about the Consumer Protection Bill, 2018
- The Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions will be set up at District, State and National levels as per the bill passed.
- The District Commissions will have the mandate to hear complaints having claim worth one crore rupees. In the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 this limit was 20 lakh rupees.
- The limit of the Commissions’ at the State level enhanced from 1 crore rupees to 15 crore rupees.
- Complaints above 15 crore rupees worth of claim will be settled by the National Commission.
- The Consumer Protection Bill, 2018 has provisions for stringent punishments in the matters of food adulterations.
- The Bill has the provisions to protect those consumers who use new digital technologies likes e-commerce and online shopping.
- The Bill seeks to establish a central consumer protection authority (CCPA) which will be tasked with promoting, protecting and enforcing consumer rights.
The main objective of the said bill is to protect of the interests of consumers and to provide effective administration and timely settle consumer disputes. Now, the bill will move to Rajya Sabha for passage.
The First International Consumer Protection Conference on empowering consumers in new markets for South, South East and East Asian Countries was held in New Delhi from 26 to 27 October 2017. The theme of the conference was “Empowering Consumers in New Markets”. It was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The two day conference was organised by Department of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution in association with UNCTAD. The conference was attended by 1600 participants that included delegates from 19 countries from East, South and South-East Asia which account for majority of global consumers and share common challenges and experiences participated in it.
New Consumer Protection Bill
During inauguration of the conference PM Narendra Modi announced that new consumer protection law is on anvil to crack down on misleading advertisements and simplify grievance redressal mechanism. The main objective of new law will be to protect the rights of consumers.
It will replace previous Consumer Protection Act of 1986 by incorporating amended 2015 UN guidelines on consumer protection. It proposes to have Central Consumer Protection Authority with executive powers will be constituted for quick remedial action. It also establishes Consumer Dispute Redressal Commissions at every district, state and national levels.
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
UNCTAD is principal organ of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) dealing with trade, investment, and development issues. It was established in 1964 and its permanent secretariat is in Geneva. Its primary objective is to formulate policies relating to all aspects of development including trade, aid, transport, finance and technology. It ordinarily meets once in four years.