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Centre plans more gold testing facilities

Our Bureau

Visakhapatnam , Oct. 8

THE Union Government is planning to set up gold testing facilities at several centres in the country to help consumers, Ms Satwant Reddy, Additional Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs, has said.

She was the chief guest at a two-day national seminar on consumer rights and awareness which commenced here in the Andhra University on Friday. Prof Y.C Simhadri, Vice-Chancellor, presided over the inaugural session.

Ms Satwant Reddy said already a gold testing centre had been set up in Kochi and several more would be set up later. ``However, the consumers should be more vigilant to check malpractices. The Government alone cannot shoulder the responsibility. The NGOs, the consumer fora and the public would have to participate vigorously in the consumer movement,'' she said.

She said the consumer fora were doing a good job and 85 per cent of the 23 lakh cases filed in the fora had been settled. ``It is a good record. However, a lot more needs to be done on the execution front,'' she said.

Mr Vasant Kumar Parigi of the Centre for Good Governance, Marri Chenna Reddy Institute of Human Resource Development, Hyderabad, said that 70 per cent of cases filed in the consumer fora in the country were against the Government ``which clearly shows that the State which should safeguard consumer rights is itself at default.''

Prof K. Rama Mohana Rao, Director of the seminar, said there were several hurdles to be crossed before the consumer got his due. ``There are, of course, more than 30 enactments to protect the rights of consumers. Among them Consumer Protection Act, 1986, is the principal one. But the consumer fora lack teeth and there is no machinery to execute the orders given by them.'' He said the Government should set up testing facilities for several products to ensure that the consumer gets his money's worth in terms of quantity and quality.

More Stories on : Standards & Benchmarks | Gold & Silver | Andhra Pradesh

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