LS passes Consumer Protection Bill

LS passes Consumer Protection Bill

Agency News

New Delhi, Jul 30: The Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed the Consumer Protection Bill, 2019 by voice vote which provides for protection of the interests of consumers and seeks to set up authorities for timely and effective settlement of consumers' disputes.

Replying to nearly three hour-long debate, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution Minister Ram Vilas Paswan sought to allay apprehensions expressed by the members and assured that several points raised by the members would be incorporated while framing the rules. He said that the government's aim and purpose was to make the process of redressal of grievances of consumers easy and hassle-free. He said that consumer forums were functioning right from the stage of districts to states and at national level. He said that courts were also available for those consumers who felt dissatisfied and they were even free to take their appeals to the Supreme Court.

On concerns of members about health care facilities not being brought under the ambit of the Bill, Paswan said that it would mean dragging medical professionals into legal process of consumer protection which could affect services being offered to patients. He said the avenue of approaching the courts was already available in such cases.

While seeking clarification, BJP member Rajiv Pratap Rudy said there were certain grey areas like power distribution, call drop problem involving private telecom companies and services of airlines which at times suffer delays and affect consumers which need to be addressed.

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said that many companies have arbitration clause which should not be allowed. He added that companies also have a limited liability clause which means the consumer was not fully protected. Amendments, moved by several members, were rejected by the House and some of the members chose not to move their amendments. (UNI)