The government on Friday said it has finalised a template for online filing of consumer complaints through e-daakhil, which will lead to easy admission of genuine cases in the consumer commissions.Addressing a day-long workshop in Guwahati on consumer protection-related issues in the north eastern region, Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh said: “…the template will be very soon deployed and proliferated in the system and thereby commissions may expect a rise in number of cases being filed through e-daakhil throughout the country.”
The template comprises standard fields and once all the mandatory information is provided, commissions can easily admit the genuine cases, he said.There has been a steep rise in consumer grievances related to the e-commerce sector on the National Consumer Helpline (NCH). Out of the 90,000 complaints registered on NCH every month, 45-50 per cent of the total complaints pertain to e-commerce, an official statement said quoting the secretary.While regulator Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) is taking required measures to protect consumers’ interest, it is upon consumers to be more aware and assertive of their rights and challenge the actions of e-commerce companies, he said.One of the recent steps taken was the launch of a BIS standard on fake reviews wherein e-commerce firms need to adhere to these standards within their policy of generating and publishing reviews on their platform, he added.
The secretary mentioned that the central government provides fund support for strengthening infrastructure of consumer commissions and requested state governments to submit utilisation certification of previous year for release of funds for subsequent year.Since one third of the pending cases pertains to insurance sector, he asked the consumer commissions to effectively reduce the pendency of cases and observed that the number of vacancies in consumer commissions in the north east region is less when compared to other parts of the country.He also said the centre aims to set up 750 price monitoring centres by March 2023 for which financial support will be assured.
Speaking at the workshop, Assam Chief Secretary Paban Kumar Borthakur said effective functioning of consumer commissions are utmost necessary for protection of consumers and if consumer commissions are not functioning properly, instead of consumer being a king, they become king in exile.He further urged all the consumer commissions of north eastern states to work harder, come together and take active part in national campaign for reducing the pendency of cases.CCPA Chief Commissioner and additional secretary Nidhi Khare, Joint Secretary Anupam Mishra and senior officials of the north eastern state governments as well as consumer commissions were present in the workshop.