“Consumer is the driving force behind any business but it is often seen consumer is the most vulnerable part of the chain. Exploitation of consumers because of non-awareness of his rights is common, hence there is a need for consumer movement”, said Pawan Kumar Bansal, former Union Minister while speaking at a seminar on ‘Consumer Awareness on Quality and Services’ held at Chandigarh Press Club, Sector 27 here today on the occasion of World Consumer Day.
Bansal was the chief guest of the event and was delivering the keynote address at the seminar organised by National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies (NABCB), a constituent Board of Quality Council of India (QCI), New Delhi in collaboration with Consumer Coordination Council (CCC), New Delhi. In the inaugural session, Surinder Verma, Secretary, Consumer Coordination Council (CCC) welcomed the guests and the participants.
Bansal said, when the Consumer Protection Act came into being in 1985, many organisations came together to generate awareness. After so many years, awareness level has gone up but people still need to know about their rights, and there should be awareness sessions in schools and colleges and they must be made aware of how legal action can be taken by a consumer without involving much formalities.
Justice K.C. Gupta (Retd.) Punjab & Haryana High Court was a special speaker on the subject.
While speaking on the occasion, Ms. Sashi Rekha, Director, NABCB, said, “NABCB recognizes the need for creating consumer awareness in this country and therefore attempts to contribute to this cause in its own way by organizing consumer awareness programs in collaboration with Consumer coordination council, in different parts of the country. Consumers need to be made aware of what are standards, technical regulations, conformity assessment certification, accreditation and the benefits of accreditation, as an informed and aware consumer is always powerful. In the technical session, Ms. Sashi Rekha spoke in detail about voluntary standards and regulations and also explained about the complaint handling system available to consumers for products and systems under accredited certification.”
The inaugural session ended with the vote of thanks by Deepak Dhingra, Vice Chairman, Citizen Awareness Group.
Rajesh Maheshwari, Joint Director NABCB highlighted the process and benefits of Accreditation as well as System Certification including issues in certification and measures taken by NABCB to deal with these issues. Neelam Singh, Scientist from BIS also made a presentation on product certification, standard development and other activities of BIS.
Prof. Vandana Kumar from the Law Department, Panjab University, spoke on the need for quality goods and services. The protection and promotion of consumer rights is important function of the government and awareness is a necessity, she said.
The event ended by vote of thanks made by Surinder Verma, Secretary, CCC.