CA – MAR 15 – CN

  • Posted by CERC India
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Training programme on stock market conducted

Participants from various consumer groups of Gujarat took active part in a training programme on ‘Consumer Problems in Stock Market’ conducted by CERC at its premises on 6 February 2015. CERC Chairman, Dr V.G. Patel, stressed on the importance of reading the fine print before signing any contract. Financial expert and CERS Trustee, Mr. D.C. Anjaria, said that consumers should know where and how to invest. For instance, IPOs were generally meant for big, seasoned investors.

Mr. Siddharth Shah from HDFC Securities Ltd. gave a valuable tip to consumers. He said they should sign only in the language they were comfortable with. Dr Jagdish Joshipura, director, Som Lalit Institute of Management Studies, warned consumers against trading based on tips from friends and relatives. Founder partner Leading Edge and financial consultant, Mr. Apurva Gandhi, enumerated the questions a consumer should ask a market intermediary/agent before deciding to take advice from him.

CERS demands refund of Rs.10cr from Adani Gas Ltd.

CERS has filed a complaint with Petroleum & Natural Gas Regulatory Body (PNGRB) against Adani Gas Ltd. (AGL) for illegal collection of Rs. 500 from each gas consumer as security deposit. In a letter to PNGRB, Mr. K.K. Bajaj, Chief General Manger, CERC, has demanded refund of Rs. 10 crore from AGL for two lakh consumers of Ahmedabad.

AGL has also collected security deposit of Rs. 5000 against providing gas connection. According to CERS, this amount is very high and should be reduced to Rs. 2000 since the cost of meter and pipeline does not exceed Rs. 1800. CERS has also complained against AGL for not giving interest to consumers on security deposit amount as per Reserve Bank of India (RBI) guidelines.

National seminar on e-commerce held

A national seminar on ‘E-commerce vs. Consumers: Safeguarding Consumers’ Interests in the Emerging Era of E-Commerce’ was organised at Chennai on 18 February 2015 by Citizen Consumer and Civic Action Group (CAG). Mr. Jose Emmanuel, Manager, Complaints Redressal, CERC was a panelist in two of the four sessions. He made two important suggestions. One was that it should be made mandatory for companies to display certain information on their websites such as address of registered office and customer care phone numbers (in some cases only email address is given).

Another suggestion he made was that consumers should have easy access to the cyber cells in police stations (where they have to go in cases of online frauds). The participants also discussed the need to educate younger consumers and introduce strong regulatory measures, including a separate regulatory body for e-commerce. Mr. Emmanuel stressed the importance of using consumer clubs and print and electronic media to spread awareness.

Regional workshop for ENVIS centres

A two-day evaluation-cum-training workshop for ENVIS Centres of Western Region was held in Nagpur on 16 and 17 February 2015. It was hosted by the ENVIS Centre at CSIR-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI). Ms. Ashoka Ghosh. Project Coordinator, and Mr. Milan Soni, Information Officer of the CERC-ENVIS centre, were among the 30 participants who attended the workshop.

Mr. Abhay Kumar, Deputy Economic Adviser, MoEF & CC, said that the Ministry had roped in distinguished experts cutting across various fields to evaluate the centres. Some general suggestions made to the centres were the inclusion of information in vernacular language, pictorial presentation, query management, sharing of data with other centres and analysis of data instead of just dissemination. CERC was asked to display information regarding RTI and consumer education if it was relevant.

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