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ISSUE: MARCH, 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. Prabhat Kumar
    • Dr. Mamta Prajapati
    • Mr. JN Prajapati

    Designing & Development:
    • Mr. Shobhit Sharma
  • 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) .

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, letter by post etc. The web chat facility is also available for consumers to get answers to any query that they may have.

NCH helps in the following ways:

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

Alternate Dispute Redressal System (ADR): The alternate dispute redressal system has 515 companies 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 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 pain points of consumers.

SNAPSHOT

DOCKETS REGISTERED
  • In the month of March 2019, National Consumer Helpline registered 51,088 dockets on the portal - www.consumerhelpline.gov.in . Out of the 51,088 dockets, 32,652 dockets were handled at Toll free number, 1742 calls were made to SMS received, and 12,460 dockets were registered on the Website. 2389 grievances were reported through “NCH App”. On the web chat facility, 1224 user’s queries were handled. 1701 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 states are arranged in descending order the top 10 are Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Delhi, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Bihar.

S. No. State No of Dockets %
1 Uttar Pradesh 7736 15
2 Maharashtra 7443 14
3 Delhi 6022 15
4 West Bengal 3883 7
5 Rajasthan 3490 7
6 Karnataka 3219 6
7 Madhya Pradesh 3041 6
8 Gujarat 2894 5
9 Haryana 2745 5
10 Bihar 2119 4
11 Other 10626 20
Total 51088 100
SECTOR-WISE:

Majority of the grievances are received from sectors of E-commerce, DTH and Cable, Banking, Telecom, and Consumer Electronic Products.

Pie Chart

The Website www.nationalconsumerhelpline.in registered a hit count of 2,92,660 during the month of March 2019

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 515 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 sectors such as Automobiles, Courier, Tours & Travels are all ‘convergence’ partners of NCH. Grievances received are accessed by the nodal person of the company who is also responsible for uploading the responses. 20,612 grievances were registered for convergence companies.

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

NCH tries to resolve grievances 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 March 2019, NCH received 347 grievances.

EVENT GALLERY

1. 15th Training of Trainers Programme for NGO/VCOs on “Consumer Protection and Consumer Welfare”:

Participants of the training programme visited National Consumer Helpline on 27th March 2019 to understand the mechanism of handling grievances received, and the appropriate redress mechanism being followed.

Photo Gallery 1
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2. Mumbai Grahak Panchayat a one-day orientation programme for Centre Co-coordinator Ms Sharmila Ranade was arranged at the Helpline on 29th March 2019

Photo Gallery 3
Photo Gallery 4

CONSUMER KALEIDOSCOPE

(Information for Consumers)

SECTOR: BANKING
Non-Banking Finance companies
Is it necessary that every NBFC should be registered with RBI?

Some FAQ

  • NBFCs authorized to accept Public Deposits are compulsorily to obtain a certificate of registration from the RBI.
  • The Reserve Bank publishes the list of NBFCs that hold a valid Certificate of Registration for accepting deposits on its website: www.rbi.org.in/Scripts/BS_NBFCList.aspx.
  • Investors / Consumers should be aware that, at times, some companies are temporarily prohibited from accepting public deposits. And this information is available on www.rbi.org.in/Scripts/BS_NBFCList.aspx.
  • Certain categories of NBFCs which are regulated by other regulators are exempt from the requirement of registration with RBI.
    • Housing Finance Companies are regulated by National Housing Bank.
    • Merchant Banker/Venture Capital Fund Company/stock-exchanges/stock brokers/sub-brokers are regulated by Securities and Exchange Board of India.
    • Insurance companies are regulated by Insurance Regulator and Development Authority.
    • Chit Fund Companies are regulated by the. Respective State Governments.
    • Nidhi Companies registered under Companies Act are regulated by Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India.

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

SECTOR: FOOD
Beware of Hidden Chemicals in Fruits and Vegetables:

Fruits and vegetables are an essential part of our daily diet. Two major concerns with fruits and vegetables available in the market are residue of pesticides and use of prohibited artificial ripening agents. All fruits and vegetables are prone to the traces of pesticides as a part of agricultural activity. Fruits like Banana, Papaya, Mango and Pear along with tomatoes are more likely to be treated with ripening agents. Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had approved artificial ripening of fruits using ethylene gas at specified concentration. But the local fruit sellers use Calcium carbide or “Masala” (Common name) and Acetylene Gas which are banned by FSSAI, the regulatory authority. These chemicals can impose serious health hazard. To keep at bay from these chemicals consumers should have following insights –

  • Seasonal fruits should be preferred. Unseasonal fruits should not be bought as they may be laden with chemicals used for artificial ripening.
  • Raw fruits of the season should be procured. Then washed, dried and wrapped in jute bag or brown paper to allow natural ripening. Regular watch is needed to avoid over ripening and spoilage. The process could be accelerated by putting a ripe banana, ripe apple or ripe tomato with the raw fruits. Ethylene gas generated by ripe fruits initiates the ripening process.
  • Fruits with signs of (grayish white to black )powder or presence of any powder wrapped in paper in between the fruits are not to be bought.
  • Ethephon sachet legally permitted by FSSAI could be used in close proximity of fruits for artificial ripening.
  • Pie Chart

Hygienic practices for safe consumption:

  • Fruits and vegetables should be dipped into the water and swirled around. It should preferably be soaked for 5-10 minutes.
  • Second wash should preferably be done using luke warm water, 2% salt solution, 1% baking soda solution, 0.5% vinegar solution. Fruit should be dipped for 10-15 minutes to allow the action of added ingredient on the chemicals.
  • Peeling could be an effective way to remove penetrated chemicals and pesticides. However it might lead to the loss of nutrients present in the peel.

Grievance Redressal:

  • Grievancse regarding use of banned “Masala” presence in commodities sold in local market could be made to the concerned Designated Officer of the district and Food Safety Commissioner of the State/Union Territories.
  • If such fruits and vegetables are sold at FSSAI license bearer unit, grievance could be made to the parent unit by giving details of the shop. If the complaint remains unheard the final tier to file the grievance is Central Food Authority, FSSAI.

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

SECTOR: LEGAL METROLOGY
Legal Metrology( Weights and Measure):

The Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rule 2011 regulate pre -packaged commodities and other goods which are sold or distributed by weight, measure or number with the objective of ensuring public guarantee from the point of view of security for consumers.

1. The Packaged Commodities Rules, 2011 is not applicable for the following:

  • Packaged commodities containing tobacco and tobacco products.
  • Any thread /poly-yarns which is sold in coil to the handloom weavers.
  • Pre packed quantity more than 25 kg / litre and less than 10 g / ml.
  • Cement / Fertilizer / Agriculture farm produce sold in bags above 50 kg.
  • Pre-packaged liquor / alcoholic beverages regulated by State Excise Law.
  • Packaged raw material for the use of Industrial purpose only.
  • Packaged material or parts to be used in any workshop / service station for repairing bicycle, tricycle, motor cycle or any vehicle etc.
  • Packaged Commodities bearing “not for sale” or “not for trade” meant for Industrial consumers and Institutional consumers.
  • Bar code / QR code allowed on voluntarily basis

2. MRP and month and year of packing are exempted for:

  • Package containing bidi or incense stick.
  • Domestic LPG cylinder of 14.2 kg / 5 kg bottled and marketed by public sector undertaking covered under Administrative Price Mechanism of the Govt.

3. GST applied or Over charging on discounted MRP” by the seller is :

  • Punishable offence under Packaged Commodities Rules or Anti-profiteering Act.
  • Discounted MRP = (Printed MRP – Discount) shall also be “inclusive of all taxes”.

(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 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'