Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the government was in the process of enacting stringent legislation aimed at protecting consumers along with setting up a Consumer Protection Authority (CPA).
“Consumers’ protection is this government’s priority. We are in the process to bring a new law on consumer protection keeping in mind the need of the country and business practices here,” Modi said at an International Conference on Consumer Protection for East, South and South-East Asian Countries.
“We are in the process of forming a Consumer Protection Authority, which will have executive powers, for immediate redressal.” The rules were being streamlined to solve consumer problems in less time and at less cost, he added.
“The stress is being given on consumer empowerment. Strict provisions are being contemplated against misleading advertisements,” PM said.
He said India was among the few countries which had enacted a law a year after the UN adopted guidelines on consumer protection in 1986. The Prime Minister also said the prices of commodities were set to go down and consumer interests were to be protected effectively due to the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Due to the GST, the competition among companies was going to increase. So prices will go down. It will help consumers from lower middle class and poor sections,” Modi said.
“Earlier, transportation by trucks would take five days but it has come down to just three days now as checkposts on borders have vanished after the GST. It means transportation cost has gone down. This is going to be transferred to consumers.”
Taking a dig at those opposed to the GST, he said, “Some people may be taking advantage of the lack of awareness. However, the benefits will be transferred (to consumers) in days to come.”
While talking about the conference, Modi said, “It shows how seriously we take the needs of our citizens and how we strive hard to solve their problems. “It is the first conference in the region, where everyone is trying in their own ways to save the interest of consumers. However, we have to keep in mind that the world is going towards a single market,” Modi added.