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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Laws alone can’t ensure consumer rights, public awareness essential: Sushanta Chowdhury


BY TC News Desk

Agartala, 25th June 2024:   Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs minister Sushanta Chowdhury emphasized the importance of consumer awareness stating that laws alone are insufficient to ensure consumer rights. Speaking at the consumer awareness programme and open quiz competition at Rabindra Satabarshiki Bhavan here on Tuesday, Chowdhury urged citizens to be vigilant and proactive.

“The current government is a government for the people. The driving force behind this government is its ministers and officials across various departments. However, it is imperative for the people to remain alert. When they go to the market, they must be mindful and discerning about their purchases”, Minister Chowdhury remarked.

Chowdhury highlighted that merely having laws in place does not guarantee the protection of consumer rights. “Consumers need to be aware of their rights, and traders must respect these laws and uphold human values,” he added. “There are numerous issues that people remain unaware of, and it is crucial to educate oneself and voice concerns.”

The minister assured that the government and relevant departments are ready to support the public. “But awareness cannot be imposed; it must come from within,” Chowdhury stressed. He illustrated his point with a common scenario, saying, “If an extra bill appears after a meal at a restaurant, patrons seldom question why. Yet, a conscious citizen has every right to challenge such discrepancies, whether it’s about overcharging or the quality of food served.”

Minister Chowdhury also addressed issues in the marketplace, encouraging consumers to stand against the sale of expired goods and overpricing. “A conscious citizen should not hesitate to protest these practices and, if necessary, lodge complaints against offending traders,” he said. To underscore the effectiveness of such actions, Chowdhury shared that out of 2,096 consumer cases raised, 2,056 have been resolved, leaving only 40 pending.

The event was also attended by Justice of Tripura High Court, Arindam Lodh, who is also the chairman of the Tripura State Consumers Disputes Redressal Commission; and the Director of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs department Animesh Debbarma. Students from various colleges were among the participants, reflecting the broad engagement of the community in these crucial discussions. Agartala Municipal Corporation’s Mayor and MLA Dipak Majumder presided over the programme.

Minister Chowdhury’s message is that the legal frameworks need the support of a vigilant and educated public to truly safeguard consumer rights.

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