Ram Vilas Paswan, the Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution said that right measurement is a powerful instrument for a sustainable growth of the industry and trade, and it also contributes towards the social progress of the country. Shri Paswan that the wrong or imprecise measurement builds mistrust, and is often a source of safety hazard. Shri Paswan stated it in his inaugural address on the occasion of National Consultation meeting of the State Secretaries and Controllers of Legal Metrology. National Consultation meeting was convened by the Department of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Consumer Affairs Food and Public Distribution at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi today.Paswan further stated that common consumer is still finding that accuracy of some of the critical instruments used in daily lives suffer from inaccuracies. There are doubts expressed sometimes regarding the accuracy of the petrol pumps, and weigh bridges used in agricultural mandis. Some manufacturers still disregard the provisions of package commodities rules. While appreciating the efforts of the states, Shri Paswan advised the Department of consumer Affairs and States in coordination to enhance their efforts to improve consumer confidence in the system and create deterrence in the minds of the manufactures who indulge in unfair practices or pushing sub-standard products into the market. Shri Paswan also mentioned some of the significant steps taken by the Ministry In the last two years in a proactive manner to strengthen legal metrology. Some of the recent initiatives focused on action against charging more than MRP, declaring dual MRP and we are also contemplating changes to our packaged commodities rules.
Shri C.R.Chaudhary, the Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution also graced the occasion and addressed the participants. Shri C.R.Chaudhary said that the subject of weights and measures is important for a common man and the need for this meeting was to find out problems faced by States and to find solutions. The Department of Consumers Affairs has taken number of good decisions today the Minister of State said. Shri Chaudhary emphasized that there is need to create trust between the consumer and the trader as well as the system. Trust in both in quality and quantity need to be generated and trust in quantity which has to be generated by the legal metrology division. This need sincere work to address the complaints of consumers as quickly as possible and devote more time in field. Shri chaudhary said the Central Government is there to help States.Welcoming the participants, Shri Hem Pande, Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs mentioned this is the first time the department is holding a national level consultation of this magnitude and this could not have come on a more appropriate time, when center and states are working in close coordination to take strong action against the unfair practices and violations of law. Shri Pande mentioned that for realizing the objectives of the Legal Metrology Act, 2009 Act and rules States have to play a critical role. The Secretary mentioned about many States are taking proactive steps and suggested that the efforts however, require constant review and revision given the rapidly changing trade and commerce scenario.Issues of legal, administrative, operational challenges were discussed at length in the meeting and strategy for a more coordinated and focused approach for the future was agreed upon.The following important decisions were taken in the meeting to further strengthen the legal metrology enforcement in the States for better consumer protection.
1. Museum depicting Legal metrology standards of various parameters will be setup in all the 7 RRSLs and IILM Ranchi. The RRSL at Faridabad will also have the National level Museum on legal metrology.
2. Technology will be used for preventing unfair trade practices in weights and measurements.
3. All chief Ministers in States /UTs will be requested to setup standard weighing and measuring instruments in Gram Panchayats so that consumers can approach Gram Panchayat facilities for checking the weights and measurements of goods purchased by them in case of doubt.
4. States can submit consolidated proposals for mobile vans and labs with proper justifications for funding from Central government.
5. National Consumer Day every year will give awards to the three States for the best Legal Metrology administration.
6. Publicity funds available will have component earmarked for creating consumer awareness programme on legal metrology.
7. Jago Grahak Jago programme will also focus on popularizing consumer awareness on legal metrology in rural areas and for popularizing mobile lab facilities.