Self-regulation code for industry to be introduced for redressal of consumer grievances

Self-regulation code for industry to be introduced for redressal of consumer grievances

Embarking CSR fund for consumer welfare activities proposed 

The Union Minister of Consumer Affairs,Food and Public Distribution, Shri Ram Vilas Paswan today held a consultation meeting with industry associations- CII, FICCI, ASSOCHAM and PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry to discuss the role and cooperation of the Industry Bodies in furthering the consumer movement in the country.
Inaugurating the meeting, Shri Paswan mentioned that the private sector plays an important role in the growth of economy of the country. The industry-government partnership will give an opportunity to consumers for effective redressal of their grievances even before they move the consumer fora. Shri Paswan also suggested that there should be joint awareness campaign by both government and industry associations which should be funded by the private sector. He also urged the industry bodies to allocate some funds from CSR to exclusively utilize for consumer awareness. The industry should particularly focus on spreading awareness in rural areas.

The industry associations highlighted the work they have done in cooperation with the Government and expressed their desire to continue to work in cooperation with the Government in various areas to enhance consumer protection and awareness.

After deliberations, it was agreed that the Government and the Industry bodies would work on the following six point partnership agenda:

(i) Jointly developing and implementing industry standard for grievance redressal

(ii) All Members of the Industry Associations to partner with the National Consumer helpline and State Consumer Helplines

(iii) Launching of joint awareness campaigns

(iv) Earmarking of CSR funds for consumer welfare activities

(v) Developing a self-regulation code

(vi) Action against fake, sub-standard, counterfeit products

It was also decided that the partnership would be launched on the World Consumer rights day on March 15. The industry representatives agreed to provide full cooperation to the government. 
Huge increase in procurement of paddy in current
Kharif Marketing Season
Due to joint efforts of the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and State Government Agencies under the close monitoring by Government of India, there is huge increase in procurement of paddy in the current Kharif Marketing Season (KMS), which begun on 1st October, 2015. The total quantity of paddy procured in terms of rice till date is 208.10 lakh MT, which was only 157.41 lakh MT till this date during the previous KMS.

The major increase in procurement of paddy has taken place in Punjab, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh. In order to ensure that FCI has enough funds to pay to the farmers towards procurement of paddy and to the State Government Agencies towards the rice supplied, Government has provided an additional funding of Rs. 10,000 crore to them in the month of January, 2016. With this additional funding, FCI has sufficient funds to meet its requirements towards expenditure including cost of procurement operations for the peak period of paddy procurement in January and February, 2016.

In all, the Government has already released a food subsidy of Rs.87,000 crore to FCI till date during the current financial year and a Ways & Means Advance of Rs.20,000 crore during the current financial year, totalling to a funding of Rs.1,07,000 crore in this fiscal, which is an all time record.

Despite 2014 and 2015 having been monsoon deficit years, due to robust procurement arrangement made by the Food Ministry and FCI, there is more than adequate foodgrain stock available with the Government under Central Pool. As on 1st January, 2016, there is 237.88 lakh MT of issuable wheat stock under Central Pool. The FCI is also stepping up open market sale of wheat at reasonable rates to check inflation and also to provide supplies to the private flour mills and trade. Similarly, on 1st January, 2016 there is a stock of 126.89 lakh MT of rice under Central Pool, which is 50.79 lakh MT more than stocking norms. This excess quantity of rice will help in meeting any contingencies arsing due to monsoon deficit or natural calamities in near future. 

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