APR – 15: AN ACHIEVEMENT
Central Govt. selects CERC to establish Grahak Suvidha Kendra
We have some special news for our readers. CERC has been selected by the Department of Consumer Affairs, Government of India, to establish and manage a Grahak Suvidha Kendra (GSK – Consumer Care Centre) in Ahmedabad (West Zone).
Dr. V.G. Patel, CERC Chairman, received the letter of intent for the project from Mr. Ram Vilas Paswan, Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, at a function held in New Delhi on 18 March 2015.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be signed between CERC and the Department by 31 March 2015 and the GSK is to start functioning within eight weeks from the date of signing. It is likely that the GSK at CERC will cover three states – Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. Seven GSKs are to be set up in different regions of the country.
The GSK is to be established and run initially for three years on a pilot basis. The staff at the CERC GSK will advise consumers and assist them in redressing their grievances. Where necessary, they will help consumers in registering their complaints in the appropriate consumer fora. Informatively, CERC, set up in 1978, has been providing complaints redressal and legal services to consumers for several years. The Kendra will also be authorised to take up complaints with private companies/manufacturers/service providers on behalf of the Government of India.
Through this GSK, CERC intends to extend protective services to consumers of the region up to village level using helplines, linking with and capacity building of Voluntary Consumer Organisations (VCOs) in the states, and reaching out to rural consumers and activists. At the end of three years, two major goals are to empower VCOs for effective mediation, advocacy and legal support and improve the success rate of complaints resolved significantly.