Cabinet clears new consumer protection Bill

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The Union Cabinet on 20 December, 2017 approved a new Consumer Protection Bill that seeks to give more teeth to the mechanism to safeguard consumer rights.

The Bill, expected to be tabled in the Lok Sabha during the Winter Session, also has provisions to deal with misleading advertisements and ban celebrities from endorsing such products.

In August 2015, the Centre had introduced the Consumer Protection Bill in the Lok Sabha to repeal the 30-year-old Consumer Protection Act, 1986. A parliamentary standing committee had also submitted its recommendations in April 2016.

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs has brought a fresh Bill as there were many amendments to the Bill introduced in 2015. The new Bill seeks to enlarge the scope of the existing law and make it more effective and purposeful.

It seeks to establish a Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) to promote, protect and enforce consumer rights. It has provisions for post-litigation stage mediation as an alternative dispute resolution mechanism. The Bill also provides for product liability action.