Consumer information centre faces dearth of funds

Activists claim that Act is losing power because of negligence

As per the guidelines of Consumer Protection Act 1986, every district should have a Consumer Information Centre to help and guide people. The Zilla Panchayat should run such centres or the responsibility should be handed over to an interested NGO. In Dakshina Kannada, though there is a Consumer Information Centre being run by a NGO, it has not received even a single paisa from the government since last one year. 

According to the available information, the State government should release Rs 2,50,000 to establish a consumer information centre through Food and Civil Service Department.

 Subsequently, it should release Rs 1,50,000 and Rs 1,00,000 should be released in the third phase. In the case of Dakshina Kannada District Information Centre, the government released Rs 2,50,000 in 2009 in first phase. 

Subsequently, it released Rs 1,00,000 in 2012, which was Rs 50,000 less than the stipulated amount. Afterwards, the government has not shown any interest in releasing the pending Rs 1,50,000 for the centre.  

Dakshina Kannada District Federation of Consumer Organisations Secretary Vishnu P Nayak says that letters have been written to the officials concerned, Food and Service Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao and even to the Chief Minister regarding to the pending amount, but there is no reply. “We have requested them to convene a meeting of all NGOs and listen to their problems, but there is no development. Now, we are frustrated by their negligence,” he told Deccan Herald. 

‘Work never stops’

Nayak said that there are Consumer Clubs in 53 schools in the district. The State government had released funds for 20 such clubs for the year 2010-11 and 2011-12.

Later, till date, the centre has not received money for the cause. To celebrate World Consumer Day on March 15 and National Consumer Day on December 25, the government had released Rs 25,000 in 2012-13, but it was also stopped last year, he said.

“However, we have celebrated both the events and conducted consumer awareness campaign in Puttur. The centre has been conducting certificate courses for degree students on consumer rules. We have Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with four colleges- Govindadas College, Kavoor Government First Grade College, Canara College and Philomena College to conduct programmes. 

This is service based organisation and most of us are retired. Without government funds, we can’t help, but have to spend from our pockets,” he said. 

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