Ram Vilas Paswan, Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution launched integrated portal for consumer services i.e jagograhakjago.gov.in on the occasion of World Consumer Rights Day. The Union Minister emphasized on the key consumer rights such as safety, information, choice, complaint lodging and grievances redressal. Shri Paswan said that consumers have all the right to get information about what they are spending on.World Consumer Rights Day 2018 with the theme of “Making Digital Markets Fairer” was organized by the Department of Consumer Affairs in New Delhi today. While addressing the august gathering, Shri Paswan said that Government is on the right track in enabling the consumers to harness the full benefits of digitization and putting in place adequate safeguards against risks associated with the electronic world. He stressed on the fact that Digital literacy and financial literacy should go hand in hand so that in a cashless economy envisioned by the government, consumers are skilled enough to confidently use digital payments system and various financial products.
Paswan called for appropriate education and awareness programmes that are rightly targeted and evaluated to ensure that it addresses specific consumer needs and the needs of disadvantaged or marginalized groups. Digital education and awareness programmes need to support consumers to develop the skills and confidence to be able to manage risks and opportunities, make informed choices, know how to get assistance and advice and take action to protect and improve their well-being and identity online. He also asked Companies to develop systems to make it easier for consumers to understand risks and opportunities for their products and services online.Paswan mentioned that Government has embarked on modernizing the legislation on consumer protection to keep it at pace with the changes in markets to ensure fair, equitable and consistent outcomes for consumers and to enable swift executive intervention in the nature of the class action to prevent consumer detriment.
He requested all stakeholders to work together to ensure that digital markets benefit consumers as it does to businesses.Paswan mentioned about Cybercrime that is becoming a major area of concern. The openness of the Internet, the lack of identification and the low level of users’ understanding of security, particularly among the first time users is a major area that requires focused efforts. He mentioned that both ministries, the consumer affairs and the Information technology, are working in tandem to create digital awareness programmes and to deal with digital payment related grievances.Union Consumer Affairs Minister said that in order to safeguard the interest of consumers, BIS is in the process of adopting ISO Standard i.e. ISO 10008:2013 on Guidelines for business-to-consumer electronic commerce transactions, for improving an effective and efficient business-to-consumer electronic commerce transaction (B2C ECT) system within an organization.
The Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Shri C.R Chaudhary said that knowledge generated in Ancient India has become the foundation for the Science and Technology today. He said India is poised to lead the world in digital technology also. He mentioned about the need for a comprehensive approach to address all the key elements of the financial systems in the digital world, including the data security, privacy, safety and grievance redressal including strengthening of the regulatory and supervisory framework, of which the department will be addressing from the consumers side in the new Consumer Protection Bill.The Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs, Shri. Avinash K. Srivastava said that efforts are being made in the regulatory framework to enhance consumer protection in e-commerce sector which is expanding rapidly. He mentioned about the expansion of consumer grievance handling systems through an upgraded software INGRAM and the increase in the number of counsellors that cater through regional languages at the Zonal Helplines.