The Centre is working on a new legislation to replace the existing Consumer Protection Act, which will have penal provisions of Rs 50 lakh and five year imprisonment for celebrities promoting sale of items without verifying the quality, Union Minister Ramvilas Paswan said today.
The proposed Consumer Protection Bill, 2016 has already been approved by the Parliamentary Standing Committee and would be introduced in Parliament in the next session, the Food and Consumer Affairs Minister told reporters here.
The new legislation to replace the existing Consumer Protection Act, 1986 would have stringent provisions against actors and other personalities doing advertisements for brands without verifying the products.
“Some leading actors/actresses like Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan and others claim that the products they promote will add to one’s strength or one will have hair on a bald head, which is not true. Such things should stop. You advertise for an item only after being convinced of its results yourself,” Paswan said.
In the new legislation, penalty for indulging in a “deceiving” advertisement would be enhanced to Rs 50 lakh from Rs ten lakh at present and the jail term to five years from the current two years, he said.
Paswan said the new legislation would have elaborate scope for a consumer to lodge complaint against a sub-standard product sitting at home and it would also enhance the monetary limits of district and state-level consumer redressal courts.
“The new legislation will make it mandatory that the complaint be registered within 21 days,” he said adding, it would enhance the limit of a district court to hear complaints of up to Rs one crore from the present Rs 20 lakh and state courts to Rs 14 crore from present Rs one crore.
Paswan also expressed worry over cheap Chinese goods flooding the market and said measures would be taken to check their rampant flow in the country.
“Chinese entrepreneurs make a low-priced Lord Ganesha and Parvati for Diwali. Was Lord Ganesha born in China?” he asked.
He also mentioned growing instances of irregularities in sale of gold and said BIS would be strengthened and it would be made compulsory for shops to have provisions to check the “gold sold in the name of 24 carats is actually not of nine carats.”