Ram Vilas Paswan to hold meeting with dissenting MPs

The Asian Age.  | Sreeparna Chakrabarty

India, All India

Opposing members claimed that the Bill, indirectly, takes away the powers of the state governments and should be referred to a select committee.

Food and consumer affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan (Photo: Biplab Banerjee)

New Delhi: At the time when  Opposition is crying foul over government “bulldozing” Bills in Parliament, food and consumer affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan has made a unique effort wherein he will be holding consultations with MPs across the board for forming rules to the new Consumer Protection Bill, 2019.

The Bill, which seeks to strengthen the rights of consumers and provides a mechanism for redressal of complaints regarding defects in goods and deficiency in services, was passed by Parliament in the last session of Parliament.

The consultations with MPs, which would be attended by senior officials of the ministry as well as Mr Paswan, would be held at Vigyan Bhawan on Tuesday and would be attended by nearly 20 Members of Parliament, who had either moved amendments to the Bill or opposed it when it was being passed by both the houses, a senior official in the ministry told this newspaper.

Those who had opposed the Bill on the floor of Parliament include members from Left parties, DMK and Trinamul Congress. They claimed that it indirectly takes away the powers of the state governments and should be referred to a select committee.

Amendments were moved by TMC’s Derek O’Brien and CPI(M)’s KK Ragesh for sending the bill to a select committee of the Rajya Sabha for further scrutiny were rejected by the Upper House.

Replying to the objections, Mr Paswan had assured the MPs that their concerns would be addressed while framing the rules of the Bill.

The minister also had said that except five, all recommendations of a Parliamentary Standing Committee have been included in the Bill.

The Bill will replaces the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

The new Bill also seeks to take care of product liabilities and service, as well as action against publishers and celebrities of misleading advertisements.

The official said there are a number of cases, over 20,304 cases at national, 1,18,319 cases pending at state level and 3,23,163 cases are pending at the district level in the country.

“Now we are naming district commission, state commission and national commission, with the district and state commissions under state governments,” he said.