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ISSUE: June, 2019
The monthly e-Newsletter of the National Consumer Helpline

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  • EDITORIAL TEAM:
  • Editor in Chief:
    • Prof. Suresh Misra

    Consulting Editor:
    • Mr. G. N. Sreekumaran

    Editorial Team:
    • Ms. Deepika Sur
    • Ms. Sunita Manik

    Sector Experts:
    • Mr. Jagat Narayan Prajapati (Legal Metrology)
    • Dr. Mamta Prajapati (Food)
    • Dr. Om Parkash Arora (Insurance)
    • Mr. Prabhat Kumar (Banking)
    • Ms. Sonam Dhawan (Legal)

    Designing & Development:
    • Mr. Shobhit Sharma

CONSUMER VELOCITY @ NCH

The National Consumer Helpline (NCH) is the grievance resolution mechanism of the Department of Consumer Affairs, Govt. of India and operates from the Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi. The web portal www.consumerhelpline.gov.in is the platform to record and handle grievance received at NCH, either through phone, directly on the website, NCH App, letters by post etc. The web chat facility is also available for consumers to get answers to queries that they may have.

NCH assist in the following ways:

Information & guidance: NCH counsels, guides and supports aggrieved consumers to get their grievances resolved.

Alternate Dispute Redressal System (ADR): The alternate dispute redressal system has 541 companies and organisations as convergence partners. Convergence companies are across the spectrum of sectors like Banking, e-commerce, telecom, consumer electronics, higher education etc.

Big Data Analytics: Analysis of data helps in knowing trends - sector wise, time scale wise and the different patterns that emerge from analyzing and stratification of the data collated.

Advocacy: Based on the analysis done, specific type of grievance affecting a large number of consumers is highlighted to the organizations. Also, advocacies are brought out to sensitize Regulators and Departments on various issues faced by consumers.

SNAPSHOT

DOCKETS REGISTERED
  • In the month of June 2019, National Consumer Helpline registered 64,643 dockets on the portal - www.consumerhelpline.gov.in. Out of the 64,643 dockets, 39,262 (60.7%) dockets were handled at Toll free number, 2,436 (3.7%) calls were made to SMS received, and 15,480 (23.9%) dockets were registered directly on the Website. 5510 (8.5%) grievances were reported through NCH App. On the web chat facility, 7541 user’s queries were handled. 1,559 (2.4%) grievance dockets have been registered on the UMANG App till the end of the month.
STATE-WISE DOCKETS REGISTERED:

The numbers of dockets registered from different states in the descending order shows that the top 15 states are Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Delhi, Rajasthan, Karnataka, West Bengal, Haryana, Gujarat, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.

S. No. State No of Dockets %
1 Uttar Pradesh 9619 15
2 Maharashtra 8126 13
3 Delhi 7237 11
4 Rajasthan 4087 6
5 Karnataka 4032 6
6 West Bengal 3909 6
7 Haryana 3701 6
8 Gujarat 3496 5
9 Bihar 3141 5
10 Madhya Pradesh 3140 5
11 Telangana 2795 4
12 Punjab 1905 3
13 Tamil Nadu 1763 3
14 Andhra Pradesh 1230 2
15 Odisha 1091 2
16 Other States 5371 8
Grand Total 64643 100
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SECTOR-WISE:

Majority of the grievances are received from the sectors of e-commerce, Banking, DTH & Cable, Telecom, and Consumer Durables.

India Map

The National Consumer Helpline website www.nationalconsumerhelpline.in registered a hit count of 3,88,138 during the month of June 2019, this has been steadily growing every month.

CONVERGENCE PARTNERSHIP:

Besides consumer awareness, NCH also works towards 'making Companies responsible’ in resolving consumer grievances at the pre-litigation level itself, by the Alternate Dispute Redressal Mechanism. Currently 541 companies/ organizations are listed under the ‘convergence’ programme. All organisation have partnered with NCH voluntarily.

A wide spectrum of companies in sectors ranging from consumer electronics and durables to services such as Banking, Insurance, Electricity, Telecom, Automobiles, Courier, Tours & Travels are all ‘convergence’ partners of NCH. Grievances received are accessed by the nodal person of the company. 25,099 grievances were registered for convergence companies in the month.

Centralized Public Grievance Redress And Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) Website : www.pgportal.gov.in

NCH make efforts to resolve grievances received on www.pgportal.gov.in, which are forwarded by the Department of Consumer Affairs received on www.pgportal.gov.in. This is a Govt. of India Public grievance portal administered by DARPG for citizens to voice their grievances. In June 2019, NCH received 367 grievances.

EVENT GALLERY:There were many visitors to NCH in the month of June 2019

1. Union Hon'ble Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Shri Ram Vilas Paswan visited the National Consumer Helpline to review the functioning on 12th June 2019

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2. Participants of the international capacity building programme on "Innovations in Organizational Management" visited NCH on 14th June 2019 to understand the role it plays in resolving consumer grievance

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3. Participants of the Training Programme on “Leadership and Enablers of Achieving Business Excellence” Department of Public Enterprises Ministry of Heavy Industries visited National Consumer Helpline on 18th June 2019

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4. Delegates from the Orientation Training Programme of Presidents and Members of consumer fora visited at National Consumer Helpline on 20th June 2019 to get a first hand idea of the working of the Helpline

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5. Participants of the 24th Training of Trainers Programme for Faculty Members of Training Institutions/Universities and Colleges on Consumer Protection and Welfare Programme hearing upcoming call received at the National Consumer Helpline on 26th June 2019

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CONSUMER KALEIDOSCOPE - Recent announcements in Consumer’s Interest

SECTOR: FOOD
Labelling Regulations for Alcoholic Beverages

Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 mentions alcoholic beverages under the definition of food and on that basis Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has framed and notified Alcoholic Beverage Standards which are functional from 1st April 2019. All alcoholic beverages sold in India are now properly distinguished into different categories based on their source of carbohydrates of agricultural origin like cereal grains, hops, fruits, vegetables, molasses or any other agricultural commodity used. Any package containing alcohol in any composition must comply with the specific labeling requirements as notified by FSSAI, along with the FSSAI license number.

  1. Declaration of alcoholic content
  2. Labelling of standard drink
  3. Not to contain any nutritional information
  4. No health claim
  5. Restriction of words “Non Intoxicating” or similar words for beverages containing more than 0.5% alcohol by volume
  6. Date, month and year of expiry must be mentioned on the label if alcohol content is less than 10 percent and shall precede by the words “Expiry date _____” or Use by ______”.
  7. “Best before _______ ” may be mentioned as an additional information.
  8. Alcoholic beverages containing more than 10 percent alcohol shall mention only manufacture date.
  9. Statutory warning to be mentioned in not less than 3mm size which may be in English / Any regional language :

PFod June 2019

Additional Labeling requirement for Wine Products:

  1. Indication for origin country with amount of sugar to be declared
  2. Listing of the name of variety of grape or fruit used in descending order of quantity, provided such claim is made.
  3. Declaration of the name of residues of preservatives or additives present
  4. Allergen Warning
    • Name of a grape variety is to be mentioned, if at least 75 per cent of the grapes used are of the same variety.
    • Date of vintage to be mentioned if at least 85 per cent of the wine comes from the crop of a single identified area
  5. 5. In case of vintage wine:
    • If the wine contains more than 10 mg sulfur dioxide per litre, the label must declare “Contains sulfur dioxide or Contains sulfite”.
    • If egg white or is in glass is used as a clarifying agent or any other processing material of animal origin is used in wine, it has to be declared on the label with a non-vegetarian logo, if residues of the same are present in the final product.

Note: The alcoholic beverages manufactured prior to 1st April, 2019 can be sold in the market upto 31st March, 2020 as per the directions notified by FSSAI on 29th March, 2019.

In case of incorrect / incomplete labeling and declaration consumer can place a grievance as per given hierarchy:

  • Tier I: Nodal Officer / Customer care of the company
  • Tier II: Commissioner of Food Safety of the State / Union Territory
  • Tier III: Central Food Authority, FSSAI
SECTOR: LEGAL
COMPENSATION AWARDED FOR DEFECTS IN NEWLY BOUGHT CAR

In the automobile sector, a recent judgment (Mercedes Benz Co. Ltd v/s Prince Bansal F.A. 830 of 2019) by the National Commission has awarded compensation of ₹2 lakhs for defect in a Mercedez car. The complainant bought a car of ₹37 lakhs from the Mercedes Benz company in September 2015. But within a span of one year many defects and problems arose in the car. The complainant then approached the consumer forum. He demanded either refund of the amount paid as consideration or replacement of the car.

The State Commission on the basis of expert committee recommendations awarded a Compensation of ₹2 lakhs. The company went in appeal. The National Commission upheld the State Commission decision and observed that the compensation of ₹2 lakhs was not excessive or unreasonable as the vehicle in question was a Mercedes.

REAL ESTATE – COMPENSATION AWARDED FOR DELAY IN DELIVERY OF POSSESSION (RUPJI CONSTRUCTION CASES , JUNE 2019)

The National Commission has come to the rescue of housing consumers. It has in a recent case against Rupji constructions granted relief in the form of compensation for delay. The commission observed that there was an unjustified delay in delivery of possession on the part of the builder. The builder was ordered to compensate the complainant in the form of Simple Interest (8%) on the amount paid as consideration by the complainant/ consumers. The interest is to be calculated from the date of promised delivery of possession to the date of actual delivery.

SECTOR: EDUCATION
LIST OF FAKE UNIVERSITIES BY U.G.C AND A.I.C.T.E

As per a recent press release of Ministry of Human Resources both the University Grants Commission (U.G.C) and All India Council for Technical education (A.I.C.T.E.) maintain a list of fake universities. It further goes on to state that to curb the menace of fake Universities/ Institutions, U.G.C issues Show Cause / Warning Notices to fake Universities and sends letters to the State Governments for taking appropriate action against fake Universities/ Institutes functioning in their State.

The website of U.G.C and A.I.C.T.E also maintain a list of approved institutions.

References:

https://www.facilities.aicte-india.org/dashboard/pages/angulardashboard.php#!/unapproved.

www.ugc.ac.in

SECTOR: INSURANCE
Motor insurance: Third-party covers gets costlier

Since 2011, the rates for mandatory third-party motor insurance are being fixed every year by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India and notified in the last week of March and the revised rates becomes effective from April 1. But this year, in a circular issued on March 28, the IRDAI had not changed the rates. The Insurance Regulator has now revised the rates with effect from June 16, 2019, for the year 2019-20, instead of 1st April 2019.

Insurance June 2019

Private Cars

The premium for mandatory third-party liability insurance for private cars up to 1000 cc has been increased by 12% from ₹1,850 to ₹2,072, and for those above 1000 cc but less than 1500 cc, the rise will be 12.5% to ₹3,221. For two-wheelers, the increase will range between 4% to 21%.

There is no change in the third-party premium rate for private cars above 1500 cc. and for two-wheelers with engine capacity above 350 cc.

Buses

This time, the regulator has categorized buses into school buses and other buses and has also introduced a new segment for electric vehicles in private cars and two-wheelers.

Electric Vehicles

The regulator has proposed a 15% discount on the premium for electric vehicles. In case of a one-year policy for electric private cars not exceeding 30 kilowatt, the premium has been fixed at ₹1,761, for those between 30 kilowatt and 65 kw, the premium is set at ₹2, 738, and for those exceeding 65 kilowatt the premium is ₹6,707.

For a 3 to 5 years cover, the premium will be ₹4,493 for electric private cars not exceeding 30 kilowatt, ₹8,104 for those between 30 kilowatt and 65 kw, and for those exceeding 65 kilowatt the premium has been fixed at ₹20,659.

For New Vehicle only

The Supreme Court’s ruling makes third-party insurance mandatory for all new vehicles plying on Indian roads, the IRDAI had made it mandatory for all vehicles bought after September 1, 2018 to purchase long-term policies. The cover is for three years in case of private cars and five years for two-wheelers.

Experts say the long-term covers will be cost-effective in the long-run. In case of private cars below 1000 cc, the rate has been fixed at ₹5,286. For those between 1000 cc and 1500 cc, the premium will be ₹9,534 and those over 1500 cc, the premium will be ₹24,305.

SECTOR: LEGAL METROLOGY

Consumers are advised to check the following to ensure that the weigh machine has been checked and verified by the Legal Metrology department.

Government has establish the Legal Metrology Act and Rules, to regulate trade and commerce in respect of weighing and measuring instruments with the objective of ensuring public guarantee from the point of view of security, durability, potency, accuracy of measurement in the interest of the consumers.

  • Consumer can ensure the accuracy & correctness of weighing & measuring equipment by re-verification and checking seal & stamp of the enforcement authority on the weight or measure used in trade and commerce.
  • The seal / stamp show the ID of inspector, Year of verification & quarter of months (A, B, C, D) on the equipments, and its validity of correctness for a fixed period of 1, 2 or 5 years according to act and rules.
  • Next due date of verification and stamping will be in same quarter after a fixed validity period. Beyond the quarter it will be a punishable offence.
  • Users of weights & measures equipment are supposed to display verification / stamping certificate issued by Government at conspicuous place in their establishment.

(a) To ensure a proper check of accuracy of a weighing instrument the user shall keep at the site of each weighing instrument duly verified /stamped weights equal to one-tenth of the capacity of instrument weights and consumer can also check the correctness of weighting instruments.

(b) To ensure proper delivery of Petrol / Diesel pumps, the retail dealer shall keep a verified Five litre /Ten litre standard capacity measure in his premises and check output from the pump every day to ensure its correct delivery at the end of consumers also.

(c) To ensure proper delivery of the CNG/LPG, the retail dealer shall keep a verified 10 kg capacity cylinder and standard weighing scale in his premises to check the output from the pump at any instant to ensure its correct delivery at the end of consumers.

(d) In case of any short delivery, the dealer shall stop delivery through equipments immediately and inform the nodal officer of Legal Metrology concerned to re-verify the equipment and put the new seal & stamp for the correct delivery.

If any violation with weighment & measurement /cheating, the consumer may proceed to:

  • Tier- I : Nodal officer of concerned agency (IOCL, HPCL, BPCL or IGL etc.)
  • Tier- II : Nodal officer of Legal Metrology / CLM of the concerned State / UTs.
  • Tier- III : District Consumer Forum / State Commission / National Commission.
SECTOR: BANKING
Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY)

In case of any queries, you can always visit the FAQ section on the official website (https://pmaymis.gov.in/). For doubts related to the CLSS, you can contact National Housing Bank (NHB) or Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) on their respective toll-free numbers furnished below:

Toll Free Number

  • NHB - 1800-11-3377, 1800-11-3388
  • HUDCO - 1800-11-6163

You can also contact the municipality officer in your district, who is in-charge of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban).

How to apply:

Now , to check the Application Status-under PMAY YOJANA

In order to track your application on the official website of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. Applications have to be submitted under ‘Benefits under other 3 components’ -one of the four categories.

  1. Visit the official PMAY Website (https://pmaymis.gov.in/)
  2. Here, you will have to select one of the two options through which you can track your application status. (You can either Enter your Name, Father’s Name and Mobile Number OR You can simply Enter the Assessment ID.)

Option 1:

If you select the first option, then you need to enter the details like State Name, District Name, City Name, your name, father’s name and mobile number.

After submitting the information successfully, the status of your PMAY application will be displayed.

Option 2:

This option may seem relatively simple since all you need to enter here is your Assessment ID and Mobile number. After entering the information, you will be directed to a page that will display the status of your assessment.

PFod June 2019

National Consumer Helpline
Centre for Consumer Studies , Indian Institute of Public Administration
Toll Free : 14404 , 1800-11-4000 (All days -09.30 AM to 05.30 PM )
SMS to +918130009809 (charges apply) mentioning the name and city .
Website: www.consumerhelpline.gov.in
You can also register your grievance through mobile application 'UMANG' and 'NCH App'