JAN -15: CERC NEWS
Training programme on health insurance conducted
Fifty participants from various consumer groups of Gujarat took active part in a training programme on health insurance conducted by CERC on its premises on 19 December 2014. The programme was organised with the support of the Government of Gujarat and Consumer Affairs and Protection Agency of Gujarat (CAPAG). It sought to equip consumer organisations to deal with complaints in the health insurance sector.
The programme was moderated by insurance expert Arman Oza who told participants that they must advise consumers to read policy terms and conditions carefully. Umang Bhatt from Oriental Insurance Company Ltd. suggested that a complainant can write to the Insurance Ombudsman before approaching the courts. Tripti Sethi from Insurance Sewa briefed the participants on how to fill up proposal forms properly. Rajiv Mehta, senior advocate in Gujarat State Commission said that group insurance policies are not advisable as in such policies the insurance party is a trust/association/company which has to be party to the case.
CERC laboratories recognised by Gujarat govt.
In a notification dated 26 November 2014, the Government of Gujarat recognised Testing Organization for Research in Chemical & Health Hazards (TORCH), the laboratory set up by CERC within its premises, as an â€˜appropriate laboratoryâ€™ for a period of three years for comparative testing of consumer products. The benefit to consumers is that this will facilitate the resolution of local complaints.
Now, the Gujarat State Commission and the District Forums will refer cases to CERC where products have to be tested and analysed. The products approved under chemical testing are maida, sooji or rava, biscuits, wheat flour, cornflakes and iodised salt. The products approved under electrical testing include irons, immersion water heaters, toasters, food mixers, hair-dryers, fans, steam irons and tubular fluorescent lamps.
National Consumer Rights Day celebrated
On 24 December 2014, National Consumer Rights Day, as well as on two days preceding it, CERC organised a programme for schoolchildren under the Consumer Club Project at different schools in Ahmedabad. Nearly 1000 schoolchildren from 14 schools took part in the programme. A demonstration by the Weights and Measures department and testing demonstration by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was arranged by CERC for the students. CERC also conducted an interactive session with children on consumer rights, the Gujarat governmentâ€™s theme for the day, and on misleading ads, the Central governmentâ€™s theme.
Go-ahead received for 65 consumer clubs
The Consumer Club Project is a Gujarat Government project for opening of consumer clubs in schools in the state for students in the age group 13-17 years. CERCâ€™s proposal to increase the number of consumer clubs it handles to 65 has been approved. The purpose of the project is to make students aware about consumer rights and protection through different activities like poster exhibitions, essay competitions, drawing competitions, debates and street plays. The main objective of these clubs is to ensure that children can stand up to the marketing pressures of todayâ€™s world.
CERS protests against unfair practices of Coal India Ltd.
K.K. Bajaj, Chief General Manager of CERC has written to the Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal protesting against the unfair trade practices adopted by Coal India Ltd (CIL). CERS has quoted a recent MoU signed between National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and CIL where NTPC will make payment for coal received from CIL on the basis of quality and quantity of coal received at power stations. Earlier, the payment was made based on coal loaded at the CIL end.
CERS has demanded similar arrangement with other state owned and private generation companies who are receiving inferior quality of coal which increases coal consumption by nearly 25%. Moreover, the quantity of coal received is 3-5% less than what they pay for. Needless to say, this burden is transferred to electricity consumers.