Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution
02 FEB 2021 7:58PM by PIB Delhi
Consumer Welfare Fund

Under the Central Goods and Services Tax(CGST) Act, 1917, Government has set up the Consumer Welfare Fund (CWF) to promote and protect the welfare of the consumers. It has worked successfully under the extant Consumer Welfare Fund(CWF) Guidelines, 2019 and achieved the objective for which it has been set up. The Government has not revised these guidelines. Except during Covid-19 period, during which restrictions were imposed on movements, gatherings of persons and different kinds of other activities, agencies/organizations who were provided financial assistance from CWF have carried out the activities for which they were given the funds.

The Government has taken following other steps to promote and protect the welfare of the consumers by creating awareness and strengthening consumer movements in the country:

  1. A Pan-India consumer awareness campaign "JagoGrahakJago" through print, electronic, outdoor and social media through various agencies/ organizations/ Ministries like All India Radio, Doordarshan, National Film Development Corporation, Bureau of Outreach & Communication, Department of Posts, etc.

ii.       Participation in various fairs/festivals/events to generate awareness among the consumers living in rural and backward areas of the country.

iii.      Providing grant-in-aid to States/UTs to generate awareness in regional languages.

iv.      Dissemination of consumer awareness messages through social media.

v.       Celebration of World Consumer Rights Day/National Consumer Day.

vi.      Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS) Mobile Care App.

vii.     The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 (CP Act 2019) has been implemented w.e.f. 20th July, 2020. The new Act covers e-commerce transactions, it allows electronic filing of complaints, hearing and/or examining parties through video-conferencing for procedural ease and reduces inconvenience, introduced the concept of product liability bringing within its scope, the product manufacturer, product service provider and product seller for any claim for compensation, imposition of penalty on the manufacturer/endorser for a false or misleading advertisement and prohibiting them from endorsing a particular product or service, for mediation as an 'Alternate Dispute Resolution Mechanism' for making the process of dispute adjudication simpler & quicker and reduce pressure on Consumer Commissions. Under the CP Act, 2019, the Central Consumer Protection Authority has been set up as an executive agency w.e.f. 24.07.2020.

viii. Government has set up a National Consumer Helpline (NCH) with toll free number 1800-11-4000 or short code 14404 to handle the consumer grievances. Further, to cater to the needs of consumers of different regions, six Zonal Consumer Helplines have been set up each at Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Jaipur, Guwahati & Patna.

ix.      Consumer awareness programmes are organized through the network of BIS Offices across the country for promoting the concept of standardization, certification and quality consciousness among consumers as well as manufactures. BIS has a full-fledged department, namely Complaints Management and Enforcement Department, functioning at its HQ in New Delhi, as the nodal department to cater to Consumer Complaints regarding standards. Publicity about Standard Marks i.e. on ISI Mark, Hallmark and Registration Mark is given primarily through its network of branch and regional offices along with the Headquarters by BIS.

This information was given in a written reply by the Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Shri DanveRaosahebDadarao in Lok Sabha today.