CONSUMER WELFARE FUND

CONTENTS:-

  • Introduction
  • Schemes & Projects financed from Consumer Welfare Fund
  • State Consumer Welfare Fund and model guide lines
  • Evaluation Report on DCIC, Jagrity Shivir Yojana and Consumer Awareness Schemes
  • Right to Information
  • Contact

1. INTRODUCTION

The Central Excise and Salt Act, 1944 (1 of 1944) was amended in 1991 to enable the Central Government to create the Consumer Welfare Fund where the money, which is not refundable to the manufacturers etc., shall be credited. The money credited to the Fund is to be utilized by the Central Government for the welfare of the consumers in accordance with the Rules framed.

Consumer Welfare fund rules were notified on 25th November, 1992 Subsequently on the recommendations of the Central Consumer Protection Council, the Rules were further mended on 27th January, 1994 to make them more broad based. The rules were further amended on 16.06.94, 16.01.95 and 13.6.2002.

The fund has been set up by the Department of Revenue. However, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution will operate it.

The overall objective of the consumer Welfare Fund is to provide financial assistance to promote and protect the welfare of the consumers and strengthen the voluntary consumer movement in the country particularly in the rural areas

2. SCHEMES & PROJECTS FINANCED FROM CONSUMER WELFARE FUND

CONSUMER CLUBS

This scheme was launched in 2002, according to which a consumer club shall be set up in each Middle/High/Higher Secondary school/college affiliated to a government recognized Board/University. This scheme has been decentralised and transferred to the Governments of States/UTs with effect from 1.04.2004. All interested NGO/VCOs shall apply to the Nodal Officer in the Food, PD & Consumer Welfare Department of the respective States/UTs.

SCHEME ON PROMOTING INVOLVEMENT OF RESEARCH ORGANISATIONS, UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES

This scheme has been launched with a view to sponsor research and evaluation studies in the field of consumer welfare to provide solution to the practical problems being faced by the consumers, to sponsor seminars/workshops/ conferences on the consumer related topics, and to have necessary inputs for the formulation of policy/programme/scheme for the protection and welfare of the consumers. The Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi, has been identified as the nodal organization to administer the scheme, at the address given below:

Prof. S.S. Singh, Consultant,
Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA),
I.P. Estate, Ring Road,
New Delhi- 110002.
Tel:23702400.

NATIONAL CONSUMER HELP LINE

A National Consumer Helpline project has been established in collaboration with Delhi University, Department of Commerce. Consumers can call from any where in India to the number 1600-11-4000 from MTNL/BSNL lines free of charge and get advice regarding their problem as a consumer. The Helpline has been formally launched on 15.3.2005 on the World Consumer Rights Day and is functional on all working days from 9.30 A.M to 5.30 P.M.

A Facilitation Center of the Help Line is also functioning at the Reception, Gate No: 6 of Krishi Bhawan from 9.30am to 5.30 am.

MOU with the Delhi University [ Link]

CONSUMER ONLINE RESOURCES AND EMPOWERMENT CENTER

FOR ONLINE COMPLAINT AND ASSISTANCE

The CORE Center has been conceived to function as the most scientific and effective system of collection, dissemination and redressal of consumer related information and complaints. It was launched on the World Consumer Day i.e. on 15th March, 2005.

The CORE Center consists of the following :-

a) National Resource Center;

b) Online database/portal;

c} Network between Consumer Organizations, Consumer information Centers, Government and Non Government Organization.

d) Online Complaint Registration and Mediation Mechanism.

Consumers can now register their complaints in the CORE through the website www.core.nic.in. They can also have access to wealth of information regarding Consumer issues through this website.

MOU with Consumer Coordination Council

PROJECT ON COMPARATIVE TESTING OF PRODUCTS

http://www.consumer-voice.org/

3. STATE CONSUMER WELFARE FUND AND MODEL GUIDELINES

The Department has decided to decentralize and transfer the Consumer Awareness and Consumer Club schemes to the State/UT Governments with effect from 1st April, 2004. Consequently, it has been decided to facilitate the States/UTs to set up their own Consumer Welfare Fund by making a one-time contribution of an amount proportionate to the number of districts, by the Centre (Department of Consumer Affairs) and the State Government in the ratio 50:50 (Centre : State). In case of special category States, like North Eastern States, Sikkim, J&K ,Uttaranchal A&N Islands and Lakshdweep the ratio will be 90:10 (Centre : State).

The State Government would be required to first make their contribution towards the fund in a separate head of account, and then apply to the Department for grant of Central share. The State CWF would be set up in the same pattern as the Central CWF, and will be a non-transferable, non-lapsable and non-plan fund outside the Consolidated Fund, and to be administered by a uniform guidelines drafted/approved by the Department.

4. EVALUTION REPORT ON THE SCHEMES OF CONSUMER AWARENESS, DCIC AND JAGRITI SHIVIR YOJANA

The Department has undertaken evaluation of the Consumer Awareness, Jagriti Shivir Yojana and District Consumer Information Center schemes by an independent agency in order to streamline the schemes, study their utility and make modifications.On the basis of the Report it has since been decided to discontinue these Schemes. Hence these schemes are not in operation at present.