New Consumer Protection Bill to be passed in winter session, hopes Paswan

Union Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Thursday said he hoped the new bill on consumer protection, approved by the Cabinet on Wednesday, will be passed in Parliament's ongoing winter session.

The Consumer Protection Bill, 2017 -- once enacted into a law -- will safeguard consumers' interests in a better way by addressing issues related to misleading advertisements, digital transactions, and e-commerce, Paswan told reporters on the sidelines of a National Consumer Day event here. 

Calling the bill "historic", Paswan said the proposed law will enlarge the scope of consumer protection measures, making them more effective. 

"The Cabinet approved the bill yesterday (Wednesday). It is a historic step. It will replace the 31-year-old law (Consumer Protection Act, 1986). We hope, it will be introduced and passed in the ongoing session," Paswan said. 

"On the e-commerce platforms, we cannot see things physically. When people purchase online, there are chances that the products they buy and receive are of substandard quality or there is no delivery at all. The new law will address all these issues."

If consumers are aware of the law, they can handle shopping on e-commerce platforms effectively, the Minister added. 

Paswan expressed his inability to explain in details the provisions of the bill since the Parliament session was on.

The bill provides for hefty penalties up to Rs 50 lakh and even jail sentence in cases of misleading advertisement and adulteration. 

On misleading advertisement, the bill provides for a ban on erring celebrities as well. 

-IANS