PANAJI: Stressing the need for intensifying consumer awareness campaign, Minister for Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Govind Gaude pointed out that 90 per cent of Goans don’t approach the consumer court for fear of getting tangled in lengthy legal proceedings.
The Minister pointed out that the consumer protection Act allows residents to file complaints over dissatisfaction about any goods and services and people need to make maximum use of the legislation.
Favouring bringing digital e-transactions under the purview of the consumer Act, he said that due to ease of purchase, online shopping has become very popular.
However, “many buyers are left dissatisfied or cheated by the online sites,” he added.
Gaude was speaking as the chief guest at National Consumer Right’s Day function on Monday, organised by directorate of civil supplies and consumer affairs at Sanskruti Bhavan, Patto.
The theme of the celebration this year was, ‘Timely disposal of consumer cases.’
The Minister said that efforts will be made to strengthen consumer cell by increasing its manpower.
“If the manpower is increased, disposal of consumer cases will be solved speedily,” he added.
Justice UV Bakre, president of Goa State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, was the keynote speaker at the function.
He explained the six important rights of the consumer that is right to safety, right to be informed, right to choose, right to be heard, right to seek redressal and right to consumer education.
The consumer court in the state has 66 complaints on the waiting list at the North Goa district forum and 63 complaints at the South Goa district forum.
Nevertheless Justice Bhakre said that, Goa’s track record in disposal of cases is better compared to other states.
“Earlier, cases in consumer courts used to take one to three years for disposal. However, nowadays cases in consumer courts are disposed of in three to six months,” he said.
Roland Martins, convenor of Goa Can, Amita Salatry, member of consumer conciliation committee and Gangaram Morajkar, chairman of consumer affairs committee, GCCI, were the special invitees for the function
Martins said that the consumers must demand the presence of a notified authority in each department to settle the complaints.
Earlier, during the programme, Sandhya Kamat, director of civil supplies and consumer affairs, welcomed the gathering.
Kamat disclosed that Goa received the second prize as consumer-friendly state of India.
The function was compered by Govind Bhagat while Eshant Sawant, assistant director, proposed the vote of thanks.
At the programme, consumers who successfully fought cases in the consumer court and won were felicitated.