The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution will soon convene a meeting to discuss the issue of misleading advertisements with various service sector ministries and related agencies. Expressing concern over such advertisements for various consumer products and services, the Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Prof. K V Thomas has said that a committee of experts will be set to suggest measures to deal with misleading advertisement effectively.

During his visit to the National Consumer Helpline (NCH), a public service project of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, functioning out of University of Delhi here today, Prof. Thomas said that his ministry is deeply concerned about consumer issues and problems and has already had discussions in this regard with various service sectors and stakeholders. He said National Consumer protection policy drafted by his ministry would go to the Cabinet soon for approval.

National Consumer Helpline is the state of art call centre, which provides information, advice and guidance to consumers from across the country, over toll free number 1800 11 4000, and assists in redressal of consumer complaints in respect of defective products and deficiency in services.

During the visit, the minister was briefed about the activities and functioning of NCH. A short presentation was made before the Minister outlining the steps taken by NCH to educate and empower consumers to use Consumer Grievances Redressal Mechanism effectively to resolve their issues and problems. The minister was also explained the CONVERGENCE process which seeks to enlarge the concept of corporate willingness to address consumer complaints received at National Consumer Helpline. Convergence @ NCH has a tie up with more than 150 manufacturers and service providers to solve consumer grievances in a cordial manner. This initiative is being carried out in partnership with Consumer Voice since 2006

The Minister was also informed that the Department of Commerce, University of Delhi where this project is operating has a specialization in Consumer Affairs and is offering a Paper on “Consumer Affairs” to BA Programme Students in their final year. The department of Commerce has also introduced a new paper for B.Com (Hons.) students for the Final year entitled “Consumer Relations and Customer Care” under the new B.Com (Hons.) programme under the semester system which commences in the new academic year in July 2011. The Minister expressed the hope that these courses would go a long way in sensitizing consumers as well business executives regarding consumer grievances and services.

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