LAHORE - The Sindh government is using delaying tactics to enact Consumers Protection Act though the other three provinces of Punjab, KP and Balochistan have already passed and enforced this Act since 2005 to facilitate consumers.
Experts said that Consumers Protection Act was enforced in three provinces almost 9 years back whereas it could not be enforced in Sindh due to which public is facing constant rising prices, adulteration in food stuff, while markets of Sindh are full of substandard products.
Punjab is taking the lead to facilitate its citizens in this regard, as more than 11 districts of the province have established consumer courts which have so far provided relief to over 20,000 consumers by announcing cases in their favour, observed Chairman of Consumers Association of Pakistan, Kaukab Iqbal.
Talking to The Nation, he said that in Punjab, the Punjab Food Authority and Punjab Consumer Protection Council are also working for the relief of consumers.
With the effort of Consumers Association of Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority, State Bank of Pakistan and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority have set up Consumer Protection Departments on their premises to help out the consumers, Kaukab Iqbal claimed and added that it’s a big achievement of the Association.
Kaukab Iqbal added that prices of milk, meat, vegetables and other essential items are beyond the approach of consumers. Penalties received from shop keepers are beneficial for government exchequer only whereas consumers have been suffering bitterly by spending millions of rupees by buying expensive products. He said such recoveries should be spent to establish Consumers facilitation centers and Consumers complaint centers to redress their grievances.
Kaukab Iqbal stressed the need for driving awareness campaign by the govt, may be launched through advertisement in print and electronic media to enable consumers to know and protect their legitimate rights.
He said that in order to protect consumers rights, stoppage of adulteration in food products, standardization of products, to counter illegal profit making activities, rapid increase in transport fares, it is high time to promulgate Consumers Protection Act and Consumers Protection Bill through Sindh Assembly on top priority basis. In this way, eventually, path to establish Consumers Courts throughout Sindh will be opened.
Kaukab Iqbal emphasized that Chief Minister Sindh should take notice of this alarming situation and ensure promulgation of Consumers Protection Act Bill in Sindh Assembly.