NCH
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IIPA
 

Consumer Velocity @ NCH
(Toll Free No.: 14404, 1800-11-4000)


 
     Apr 2018  
                          The monthly e-newsletter from the National Consumer Helpline
 
Inside the issue

 

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Snapshot of activities

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CPGRAMS Complaints

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Goods & Service Tax

 

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Consumer Kaleidoscope
   
Events Gallery

Participants of the Training Programme for Indian Civil & Account services visited NCH on 3/4/2018

 

 

Contact

To seek information, advice and guidance on consumer problems

Contact
National Consumer Helpline

Toll Free Numbers

14404, 1800-11-4000

(All Working days)
09.30 AM to 05.30 PM
or
SMS your name and city to
+918130009809 (Charges Apply) .

Editorial Team

Editor in Chief:
•Prof. Suresh Misra

Consulting Editor:
•Mr. G. N. Sreekumaran


Editorial Team:

• Ms. Deepika Sur
• Ms. Sunita Manik

Designing & Development:
• Mr. Ashish Kumar Gaur

 
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CONSUMER VELOCITY @ NCH.

The National Consumer Helpline (NCH) is the project of the Department of Consumer Affairs, Govt. of India and operates under the Centre for Consumer Studies, Indian Institute of Public Administration New Delhi. The web portal www.consumerhelpline.gov.in is the platform to record and handle complaints received at NCH. either through phone, consumer App, letter etc. The web chat facility is also available for consumers for any query that they may have.

NCH does the following:

Information & guidance: NCH counsels, guides and supports aggrieved consumers in getting their complaints resolved.

Alternate Dispute Redressal system (ADR): The alternate dispute redressal system has 425 companies as convergence partners. Convergence partners 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 wise and the different patterns that emerge from analyzing and stratification of the data collated.

Research & Advocacy: Based on the analysis done, specific type of complaints affecting a large number of consumers is highlighted to the organizations. Also, advocacies are brought out to sensitize Regulators and Departments on various pain points of consumers.

EVENT GALLERY:  

Participants of the Training Programme for Indian Civil & Account services visited NCH on 3/4/2018 to understand the National Consumer Helpline and its working

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The participants of the “12th Training of Trainers for Heads and Members of VCOs /NGOs in Consumer protection and welfare” visited National Consumer Hepline to get a first hand experience on the NCH operations on 12th April 2018.

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SNAPSHOT  
Data for the Period 1st-30th Apr 2018

  • The Website www.nationalconsumerhelpline.in registered a hit count of 2,11,947 during the month.

  • In the month of April 2018, National Consumer Helpline registered 41,124 dockets on the portal - www.consumerhelpline.gov.in. Out of the 41,124 dockets, 29,082 dockets were handled at Toll free number, 2664 calls were made to SMS received, and 10,093 dockets were registered on the Website. 99 complaints were reported through “Consumer App”. On the web chat facility, 1442 user’s queries were handled. On an average 72 users are making enquires at NCH per day through web chat.
State-wise Dockets Registered: 

The number of calls received from top ten states in descending order is Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh ,Delhi, Gujarat, West Bengal, Karnataka, Rajasthan , Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar.

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Major Complaint Sectors: 

Majority of the complaints are received from sector of E-commerce, Banking, Telecom, Consumer electronics and Agency services.
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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 over 425 companies/ organizations are listed under the ‘convergence’ programme. All companies 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 to diversified sectors such as Automobiles, Courier, Tours & Holidays are all ‘convergence’ partners of NCH. Complaints received are accessed by the nodal person (SPOC) of the company who is also responsible for uploading the responses. 16,389 complaints were registered for convergence companies.

NCH tries to resolve complaints 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 April 2018, NCH received 402 complaints during this time period.


Jagriti’ - The consumer empowerment initiative of the National Consumer Helpline in the past few years has generally seen events based – like nukkad nataks, programs in community radios, participating in melas etc. From the month of April 2018, NCH has started with a half day program for empowering school students in the area of consumer protection. Young minds are impressionable and empowering students goes a long way – as discerning, responsible and alert consumers of the future.

NCH sent out invitations to various schools to visit IIPA to see the working of the National Consumer Helpline. This would give a chance to acquaint the students on various consumer sectors. Two schools visited NCH in the month.

On 11th April 2018, 18 students of the commerce stream studying in Class 12 alongwith one teacher from the Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya, Jhandewalan, New Delhi- 110005 visited IIPA and attended the program

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On 24th April 2018,30 students of Class 12 who had opted for the Economics subject from the Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidhyalaya,Tyag Raj, New Delhi 110003 attended the program along with two teachers.

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The visit of two hours - from 10.00 am to 12 noon covered various consumer topics. Although consumer issues pertain to more than 40 sectors, NCH chose to educate the students on relevant topics. After a one hour formal presentation on the history and background of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 and sectors of interest, the next hour was a ‘live’ hearing of calls that are received, handled and resolved by the National Consumer Helpline. Students were encouraged to ask questions and get queries resolved by the team of counselors at the helpline.

The presentation covered briefly the need for setting up NCH by the govt, the Consumer Protection Act 1986, the 6 consumer Rights and also dwelt on the Responsibilities of Consumers. The sectors explained were Junk Food, Legal Metrology ( Weights & Measures), E-commerce , Digital transactions and LPG. Besides discussing in detail with the students, they were also encouraged to share the information ( Dos and dont’s ) and knowledge gathered from the visit with their parents, relatives and friends. Notable aspects were on how to check expiry of an LPG cylinder, mandatory labels on food items and pre-packaged products ,and precautions to be taken while doing E-commerce and online transactions.

The visit ended with refreshments being served to the students and the teachers. The visits have generated positive feedback and we have many more schools wanting to visit NCH.
CONSUMER KALEIDOSCOPE
(Recent announcements in Consumer Interest)


  • PFRDA (Pension Fund Regulatory Development Authority) has relaxed partial withdrawal norms…

  • Pension Fund Regulatory Development Authority (PFRDA) had announced in early 2018 that they had permitted partial withdrawal under the National Pension System (NPS) after relaxing the norms.

    • For purchase of residential premises

    • Treatment of critical illness

    • Higher education

    • Marriage of children

    On 26th April’18, Pension Fund Regulator PFRDA further relaxed the withdrawals norms and added two more.

    • To improve their own employability skills or acquire new skills by pursuing higher education/ acquiring professional and technical qualifications ,

    • To setting up new business

    NPS subscribers have contributed for three years can withdraw up to 25 per cent of the corpus for meeting specified expenses enlisted above. An NPS subscriber can withdraw 25% of his contribution to the corpus for emergencies before retirement .Further, it is important to note that early withdrawals from the National Pension System (NPS) will not attract any tax.

    (Compiled by Mr. Prabhat Kumar, Sector Expert: BFSI -Banking, Financial Services and Insurance)


  • Artificial ripening of Mangoes

  • The warmest months of India are flavored with sweet and delicious mangoes and markets are flooded with the yellow fruit. The fruits are ripened at the destination markets before retailing and hence artificial ripening has become essential. Under Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales) Regulations, 2011 fruits may be artificially ripened by use of ethylene gas at a concentration upto 100ppm (100µl/L) depending upon the crop, variety and maturity. Ethylene is expensive, so calcium carbide is used for artificial ripening which is popularly known as ‘Masala”. It is banned under Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales) Regulations, 2011. Calcium carbide is grayish-black to black colored powder, with garlic like odour, reacts readily with water to produce acetylene gas, which helps in ripening process.

    Negative Impact of Calcium Carbide

    A strong reactive chemical, Calcium Carbide has carcinogenic properties. Calcium Carbide contains traces of arsenic and phosphorous hydride which are harmful. Fruit ripened with calcium carbide may develop uniform attractive surface colour, but the tissue inside would not be ripe or may remain green or raw. When calcium carbide is used in very raw fruit, the amount of the chemical needed to ripen the fruit has to be increased The resulting fruit becoming even more tasteless, unhealthy and possibly toxic.

    Symptoms of Poisoning and harmful effects on health

    • Vomiting, diarrhea with or without blood

    • Burning sensation in chest and abdomen

    • Thirst, weakness, difficulty in swallowing, irritation or burning in the eyes and skin,

    • Permanent eye damage, ulcers on the skin, sore throat, cough and shortness of breath.

    • Higher exposure may cause a build-up of fluids in the lungs.

    Potential Health Effects

    • Calcium Carbide is a dangerous and corrosive chemical.

    • Consumption of fruits ripened with Calcium Carbide causes stomach upset because the alkaline substance is an irritant that erodes the mucosal tissues in the stomach and disrupts intestinal functions.

    • CaC2 imitates acetylene gas, it may affect the neurological system by inducing prolonged hypoxia (low oxygen reaching the blood and tissues).

    Precautions

    • Wash the fruits thoroughly before consumption under potable running water for few minutes, so that the chemicals are washed away.

    • While eating mangoes it is better to cut the fruit into pieces, rather than consumi

    Where to report

    Mostly mangoes are bought from local market so, complaint must be made to the concerned Designated Officer of the district and Food Safety Commissioner of the State/Union Territories In case of fruits and vegetables sold at Safal outlets managed by Mother Dairy complaint must be made to company giving booth number details. If the complaint remains unheard the final tier to file the complaint is Central Food Authority, FSSAI.

    Compiled By: Dr. Mamta Prajapati,(Food) Sector Expert


  • Updates for the Consumers on the Digital Taxi / Auto Fare Meter

  • Digital taxi meter is a time and distance measuring instrument which totalizes continuously and indicate the fare at any moment of the journey. An external fare receipt printing device is also fitted with the fare meter, in which may prints the fare receipt indicated by the fare meter. Digital meter is also mounted on a motorized vehicles- three / four wheels and powered by an internal engine. Consumer may suffer for excess measurement due to short coming and tampering in the fare meter

    Consumer must observe the following :

    • Unit of distance, time & amount to be paid in metric system.

    • Model Approval Number Issued by the Central Govt. in the form of (IND/09/2018/199)

    • Serial no. of the instrument and Manufacturing licence no issued by the State Govt.

    • K- factor (pulses/km),Trade Name, Model no, & Name and address of manufacturer etc.

    • Sealing & Stamping Plate with validity of one year, (Block A/B/C/D; Inspector Code, Year)

    • Air pressure of the wheels of Auto Rickshaw and Taxi must be stationary.

    • Flag of the meter must be down (HIRE-Position), before starting journey.

    • Initial money drop (for 1 or 2 km) must be displayed in advance as fixed by State Govt

    • Indication of mode of the journey: for running position, Waiting time and Night charges

    Consumer is also advised to aware of the following:

    • Max. fare indication:(0025.00) Rs (in advance money drop for 1 or 2 km as fixed by Govt.)

    • Max. Time Indication: (00.00) hrs (according to the waiting time as fixed by the Govt.)

    • Max. Distance Indication: (000.0) km, (Travelled by taxi / auto rickshaw)

    • Rs 25.00 for first fall of 1 Km (in advance) and thereafter Rs1.40 (for Non-AC) & Rs1.60

    (for AC) in advance for every additional 0.1km. (for only taxi with black & yellow top).

    In Delhi, the rates are as follows:

    • Rs 25.00 for first fall of 2 km (in advance) and thereafter Rs 8.00 per km for every additional km. (for Auto Rickshaw only)

    • Waiting charges Rs 30 per hour or part thereof (Subject to a minimum of 15 minutes stay)

    • Night journey charges 25% of the fare to be paid (11:00 pm to 5:00 am)

    • Rs10.00 (for Taxi) & Rs 7.50 (for Auto Rickshaw) shall be charged as extra luggage charges whereas the driver/operator shall not charge & money for a shopping bag or a small suitcase.

    • The above rates are for Delhi city only. Consumer is advised check for other cities and towns of the case may be.

    If there is any violation of the above ,Consumer is advised to complaint to nodal officer of the district Legal Metrology Department /or to the RTO ( Regional Transport Office) of the district.

    (Compiled by Mr. J. N. Prajapati, Sector Expert: Legal Metrology)

     

    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 can also be sent to +918130009809 (charges apply) mentioning the name and city .
    Website: www.nationalconsumerhelpline.in
    You can also register your complaint on mobile application "Consumer App" of Department of Consumer Affairs and website www.consumerhelpline.gov.in

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