|CONSUMER WELFARE FUND|
CONSUMER WELFARE FUND
The Central Excise and Salt Act, 1944 was amended in 1991 to enable the Central Government to create a Consumer Welfare Fund where the money which is not refundable to the manufacturers, etc. is being credited. Consumer Welfare Fund was created in 1992 with the objective of providing financial assistance to promote and protect the welfare of the consumer, create consumer awareness and strengthen consumer movement in the country, particularly in rural areas. The Department of Consumer Affairs operates the fund, setup by the Department of Revenue under the Central Excise and Salt Act, 1944.
The Consumer Welfare Fund Rules were notified in the Gazette of India in 1992 and Guidelines were framed in 1993. Under the Consumer Welfare Fund Rules, any agency/organisation engaged in consumer welfare activities for a period of three years and registered under the Companies Act, 1956 or any other law for the time being in force, village/mandal/Samiti-level cooperatives of consumers, industries State Government etc are eligible for seeking financial assistance from the Fund.
The advent of globalization, market economy has expanded areas that need intervention on behalf of the Government to protect the interest of consumers. Consumer Welfare Fund Guidelines were accordingly revised in 2007 to suit to the present day requirements. A sum of Rs. 17.00 crore only is available currently in the fund. An amount of Rs. 39.50 crore was utilised 2013-14.