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?Consumer issues to be taken up with govt?

india Updated: Nov 12, 2006 13:33 IST

The national executive body of the Consumer Protection Council promised to redress consumer’s grievances and related issues here on Saturday.

At a meeting held at Hotel Palash Residency, the Council, a government registered NGO, said sub-groups will be formed within the Council.

Council representatives from different states held discussions on issues related to overall price hike, problems faced by consumers with cooking gas, issues of adulteration in foodstuffs, mineral water, ghee, sale of sweets with fungus, hoarding of kerosene and the issue of gold ornaments.

National president of the Consumer Protection Council, Shiv Vanshkar said the organisation would take up consumer-related
issues with the government in a big way.

He said the Council would initiate an awareness drive through rallies, nukkad plays and distribution of pamphlets. “We also organise seminars by calling officials of departments concerned as per the subject of seminar,” he said.

Council patron Aziz Mohammed Khan said the organisation was formed with a handful numbers but has grown into a big outfit with pan-India presence.

Talking on tax structure in Madhya Pradesh, a member Dr Jai Prakash Paliwal said the pharmaceutical industry in the State is in distress and has resultantly migrated to Himachal Pradesh.

Naming a few companies that moved out of MP, he alleged that the State with pharmaceutical industry of Rs 4,500 crore has virtually been declining.  “State Government should withdraw the 10 per cent duty it charges on pharma industry and prevent it from migrating,” he said.

Dr Paliwal also raised the issue of commercial tax on petrol and diesel, which has led to a hike in their prices in comparison to other states.

Resultantly, trucks get diesel from other states. This has resulted in a loss of revenue to Madhya Pradesh. Vanshkar announced the setting-up of a sub-committee to work on these issues.

Council State president Dr Lal Bahadur Chouhan took up issues related to the artificial crisis of cooking gas, which has forced consumers to buy oven and gas pipes from gas agencies. Avoiding home delivery and misuse of LPG in hotels was also discussed. The Council decided to take up the issues with oil companies.

President of Goa’s Council Shankar Prasad Vemula also gave valuable suggestions at the meeting.  Maharashtra’s Ganesh Gopal Joshi – Council president at Thane – who suffered a near-fatal accident due to the carelessness of airline company, pointed out the fluctuation in airfare charged by private airlines operators and hoarding of kerosene in his state.

He said the government should make it mandatory to display prices of essential commodities. “Why don’t private airline operators keep fixed tariffs like the government and display it on fares,” questioned Gujarat’s Narsingh Agrawal, sharing his bad experiences with private airlines on fares. 

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