The Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, The National Consumer Disputes & Redressal Commission (NCDRC) initiated the project of National Consumer Helpline. The project chiefly targets on the need of the consumers for a telephone helpline, in order to deal with the illimitable trivial problems encountered by various business and service providers.
Punjab, being one of the most refined states of India has a very efficient State Consumer helpline which has been catering with the problems of about 27,704,236 people efficiently. The Consumer helpline of the state works in accordance to the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 which lays down the essential rights of the consumers and provides the promotion and protection of their rights. The main objective of the act is, “to provide for better protection of the interests of consumers and for that purpose to make provision for the establishment of consumer councils and other authorities for the settlement of consumers’ disputes and for matters connected therewith.”
Under the governance of the Chief Minister, Prakash Singh Badal the public grievance portal has been successful in providing an inexpensive, fast and stable redressal of the consumer disputes, with the help of setting up quasi-judicial bodies in each district.
The toll free helpline number of Punjab i.e 2746714, has been providing successful support and guidance to the complainants, which is easily accessible to all the strata of people in Punjab and is reported to be of immense help to consumers. The state government has been operating in accordance to the guidelines of the legislature, which include establishing District consumer protection council, conducting necessary meetings regarding consumer redressal and to promote and protect the consumer within the district rights of the consumers laid down in clauses (a) to (f) of section 6, of the Indian constitution.
Keeping in mind a lot of things, the Punjab government, even dedicated helpline number 1905 for the citizens to share their grievances directly with the deputy chief minister. The helpline was launched to motivate the vulnerable sections of the society such as women, children and senior citizens to come out and share their grievances fearlessly. This has helped in making the consumers aware and pro-active regarding the Consumer Protection Act and has certainly contributed to the economic development and lack of exploitation of the consumers, thereby making the state consumer helpline in Punjab a success.
Just like any other project, the state consumer helpline has totally transformed the service providing landscape, owing to the augmenting level of technology, education and awareness among the consumers. Needless to say, the vision of the to create a nation of awakened, empowered and responsible consumers, and socially and legally responsible corporations appears to be administered.
While the consumers have been benefitted immensely from the redressal portal, there is still a long way to go and the government is working on it. After all, Punjab deserves to have the best execution of the projects, adopting world class standards.
The main consumer rights include:
1. Right to safety.
2. Right to information.
3. Right to choose.
4. Right to seek heard.
5. Right to redressal.
6. Right to consumer education.