Youth sensitised unhealthy food on World Consumer Rights Day


Around 250 students from various schools and colleges in the city visited CERC on 13 March 2015 and enthusiastically participated in the World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) celebrations. This year the theme was ‘Consumers’ Rights to Healthy Food’. Accordingly, CERC conducted an interactive session to sensitise the youngsters to the harmful effects of foods high in fat, salt and sugar based on the findings of its in-house lab.

Many of these products, such as instant noodles, potato chips, biscuits, breakfast cereals and ice cream, are targeted at children and adolescents. The students came up with some interesting queries. One was on whether they should believe advertisements of Horlicks and Complan which claim that these milk additives lead to improvement in memory and concentration. They also wanted to know about biscuits which claim to provide ‘glucose energy’. They were explained that one of CERC’s major campaigns is against misleading ads.

Training programme on Medical Treatment and Consumer Issues conducted


Members of consumer groups of Gujarat, doctors, lawyers and consumers took active part in a successful training programme on ‘Medical Treatment and Consumer Issues’ conducted by CERC at its premises on 4 March 2015. The programme was organised with the support of the Government of Gujarat and Consumer Affairs and Protection Agency of Gujarat (CAPAG).

The purpose of the training programme was to equip consumer organisations to deal with complaints related to medical treatment. Ms Pritee Shah, Chief General Manager, CERC, said that in cases of medical negligence the burden of proof lies with the complainant. It is for the patient (or relative) to establish his case against the medical professional and not for the latter to prove that he acted with sufficient care and skill. Often patients do not have access to medical records. Also, to prove negligence the complainant requires expert opinion but doctors are seldom willing to give evidence against other doctors, she said.

Mr. Apurva Dave, Gujarat High Court advocate and CERS governing body member, said even in the most ethical of medical practices, mistakes happen. He enumerated with examples what recourse was available to consumers under different laws.

CERS criticises GERC for adopting dual policy on tariff

CERS has blamed Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission (GERC) for not introducing competition in the power sector of Gujarat. GERC has been adopting dual policy for tariff determination in the state. This issue was raised by our expert Mr. K.K. Bajaj, Chief General Manager, CERC, during a tariff hearing.

CERS stated that GERC has failed to introduce separate tariff for Government owned distribution companies in Gujarat. On the other hand, it has encouraged cross subsidy among four DISCOMs. PGVCL is the worst performing DISCOM in Gujarat and GERC allows PGVCL to purchase power at Rs.3.90/unit compared to better performing DISCOM DGVCL which purchases power at Rs. 5.08 per unit. CERS also objected to dual policy of GERC where four Government DISCOMs have uniform tariff while Torrent Power Ltd has different tariff for Ahmedabad and Surat consumers.

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