Expressing his displeasure over status of Consumer Ministry, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Saturday said that despite mandate to take care of 1.23 crore consumers, the ministry is the most “neglected” both at the central as well as state level. Voicing concern about vacant posts and lack of infrastructure at state and district consumer courts, the minister appreciated their efforts in disposing of 41 lakh cases in the last 30 years despite poor facilities.
Paswan urged the state governments to provide adequate facilities for smooth functioning of these courts as there is expected to be a “flood” cases after the new Consumer Protection Bill gets passed in Parliament. The government has made sweeping changes in the bill to protect consumer rights.
“I had told the Prime Minister in the first meeting that we have 1.23 crore population and all are consumers, but the department has been most neglected, be it at Centre or state level,” Paswan said at an event organised to celebrate the National Consumer Day in New Delhi.
Paswan also launched a host of online initiatives including a mobile App ‘Smart Consumer’ and an ‘Online Consumer Mediation Centre (OCMC)’ to provide speedy redressal of consumer grievances.