Table of Content
Consumer Affairs: Recent Updates and Amendments
The Department of Consumer Affairs released a notification pertaining to the crucial activities or decisions taken for March 2021. The decisions/activities are broadly related to the following three departments:
- Bureau of Indian Standards
- Price Monitoring
- Consumer Protection
- Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS): The Bureau is a Body Corporate consisting of 25 members representing both Central and State governments, Members of Parliament, industry, scientific and research institutions, consumer organizations and professional bodies; with Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution as its President and with Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution as its Vice- President. The workshop on “Easing compliance of BIS certifications", arranged by the Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA) in conjunction with the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade was held on 3rd March 2021. The whole idea of conducting this meeting was to gain insights from the experts about the timely amendments of Indian standards in the existing areas, in addition to the need for devising standards formulation in new business areas. Various manufacturers, industry associations such as The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Fellowship of Companies for Christ International (FCCI), The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASSOCHAM) & PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI), and other experts proposed the following suggestions in the related matter:
- Improvisation of the BIS website to ensure easy registration process for interested patrons to discuss standards
- Creating newer testing amenities for products such as footwear, electrical items, glass products, and air conditioners
Amendments made by the Department of Consumer Affairs in BIS regulations
- Revision of fee structure: The DoCA has reduced the fee structure of the management systems certification scheme.
- The licensee needs to be careful about the approved period of seven days for delivering the test sample to the selected office or laboratory.
- The department provides an extra benefit to foreign manufacturers for depositing Performance Bank Guarantee comparable to Indian currency.
- Deferment of any product certification license: The DoCA has now revised the rescheduling of any product certification license from three months to twelve months starting from the date of its validity. This amendment will help the licensee to request for the temporary suspension of the expiry of a license, in case the license could not get functional due to unanticipated exigencies. Due to this amendment, the manufacturers involved in the Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) segment will keep on receiving the benefits of BIS certification with no major liabilities on compliance.
- Discount for manufacturers holding more than one license: With effect from this notification, 10% of discount has been allowed by the department in minimum marking fee for each consequent product certification license.
- Price Monitoring:
Price Monitoring Division (PMD) in the Department of Consumer Affairs is responsible for monitoring prices of selected essential commodities. The activities of the division include monitoring of the retail and wholesale prices, and spot and future prices of selected essential commodities on a daily basis. Prices are reported daily on the website. Price Monitoring Division analyses the price situation and gives advance feedback for taking preventive measures to help policy interventions at appropriate time to prevent undesired shortfall in the availability of essential commodities. In the event of shortage of any specific essential commodity and to keep price of the item under control, Price Monitoring Division also implements commodity-specific market intervention schemes to give temporary relief to the consumers. The division has emphasized the price rise and gap between the demand and supply of pulses during their meetings with relevant committees. In addition, the division also pointed out the requirement of necessary policy measures in the related matter.
- As an actionable measure, the department has confirmed and released the import quotas for the Moong, Tur, and Urad dal for 2021-22. It is covered under their duty of Government Procurement of Essential Commodities, International and domestic prices of pulses as obtained from National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd. (NAFED), and Imports and Exports of Essential Commodities.
- In addition, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) in March 2021, informed about a novel process for the import of pulses. The application for this process will be made online and a randomization algorithm developed and validated by National Informatics Centre (NIC) and Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), respectively will be utilized for the allotment.
- Consumer Protection:
- Thirteen show cause notices have been served (either suo moto or on the complaint) to various corporates by the Central Consumer Protection Authority against the unfair trade practices, false claims, and misleading advertisements followed by them, to seek their reply by giving a reasonable opportunity of being heard.
- With the advent of the e-Daakhil portal in the state as well as district consumer commissions of Tripura and Uttarakhand, the number of states endorsing the e-filing facility (e-Daakhil) for consumer complaints has now reached 17.
If you want to know about BIS registration, you can contact CliniExperts at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our team can guide you in getting your BIS and Legal Metrology Licences and registrations on time.
DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS Monthly Summary for the month of March, 2021.Available at: https://consumeraffairs.nic.in/sites/default/files/MonthlySummary_March21.pdf Accessed on 21st May 2021