DNA, September 16, 2012
Even after 25 years of coming into force, not many Indians are aware of the Consumer Protection Act 1986. Only 20% people in India are aware of, or have heard about the Consumer Protection Act 1986, shows a report released by Consumer Unity & Trust Society.
Rajasthan’s story was even more dismal as only 11% people were aware of consumer rights. The society had conducted a survey in 19 states and 3 union territories of India to assess the level of knowledge, awareness and exercise of consumers regarding their rights.
While 93% respondents across the nation have never actually made a formal complaint, only 3% had registered their grievance with a company/product manufacturer and a mere 0.3% of them had ever approached a consumer forum for grievance redressal.
In Rajasthan, only 0.6% have filed a case in the consumer court and only 29% are satisfied with the present grievance redressal mechanism.
“The statistics of the survey are disappointing. Had it been about any other act affecting only a certain group of people, it would still have been acceptable but all of us are consumers. This affects us all. It, therefore, becomes not only important but mandatory for every man to know about his rights as a consumer,” remarked Mr George Cheriyan, Director, CUTS.
The survey also brought to light several gaps in the grievance redressal mechanism. Three-fourth of all cases that are reported were not properly redressed and 60% of the cases were not redressed within stipulated time frame of 90 to 150 days.
Considering the findings, the stakeholders of the act are thinking of introducing an amendment in it so as to cater to the needs of the Indian Consumers in the present times in a more effective and simplified manner.
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