Updated December 24th, 2023 at 18:33 IST

Piyush Goyal inaugurates technological initiatives for consumer welfare on National Consumer Day

Goyal emphasised that while technological expansion is crucial, it also brings associated risks.

Reported by: Business Desk
National Consumer Day | Image:News on Air
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The Department of Consumer Affairs marked National Consumer Day 2023 with a tech-centric celebration, focusing on enhancing consumer protection and grievance redressal. Union Minister Piyush Goyal, in his inaugural address, emphasised the critical role of customer satisfaction in the country's development, echoing the sentiments expressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the B20 summit.

Highlighting the government's commitment to consumer trust, Goyal announced the launch of several initiatives, including the e-Jagriti portal, video conferencing (VC) facility for the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), drone testing at the National Test House (NTH), and the National Consumer Helpline 2.0 in 17 languages. The National Consumer Helpline witnessed a remarkable 13-fold increase in calls, reaching 1,32,209 by November this year.

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The introduction of New Quality Control Orders (QCOs) reflects positively on the market's goods' quality. Goyal emphasised that while technological expansion is crucial, it also brings associated risks. Discussing the intersection of artificial intelligence (AI) and consumer protection, the Minister commended the release of the "Guidelines for Prevention and Regulation of Dark Patterns, 2023," aiming to prevent manipulative practices and promote transparency in the marketplace.

Acknowledging the efforts of Justice Amreshwar Pratap Sahi, the newly appointed President of the National Commission, Goyal urged collaborative strategies between the Department of Consumer Affairs and consumer commissions. The goal is to eliminate pending cases, leveraging technology for swift real-time resolution.

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Addressing concerns about essential goods' prices, Goyal lauded India's proactive measures to manage food inflation through collaboration with the Department of Consumer Affairs. The establishment of 140 new Price Monitoring Centers, bringing the total to 550, exemplifies the government's commitment to monitoring and analysing indicative prices, shielding consumers from inflation. The Minister also appreciated interventions providing subsidi sed tomato, onion, Bharat Dal, and Bharat Atta, demonstrating the government's dedication to consumer protection.

In urging the Department to make "jagriti" (awareness) a "jan andolan" (people's movement), Goyal emphasised the importance of spreading awareness, providing choices, efficient grievance redressal, and continuous feedback for a better consumer future.

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On this National Consumer Day, the Minister released these technological initiatives, marking a significant step toward a digitally empowered and consumer-centric future.
 

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Published December 24th, 2023 at 18:27 IST