The Rajya Sabha failed to transact any business on Thursday. The Lok Sabha passed the Consumer Protection Bill, and the government introduced a Bill to amend the Companies Act to further improve the ease of doing business and ensure better compliance levels.
The Lok Sabha also passed the National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities (Amendment) Bill, 2018. It seeks to amend the principal Act enacted in 1999. The Rajya Sabha had passed it last week.
The Consumer Protection Bill seeks to strengthen the rights of consumers and provide a mechanism for redressing complaints regarding defects in goods and deficiency in services. It will replace the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, once the Rajya Sabha passes it.
Replying to a brief debate on the Bill, Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said the legislation had not been amended for three decades and needed changes for strengthening the rights of consumers. The Bill proposes setting up of a Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission and fora at the district, state, and national levels for adjudicating consumer complaints. It will have the power to set up a central consumer protection authority to promote, protect, and enforce consumer rights as a class.
Tathagata Satpathy of the Biju Janata Dal said the Bill gives excess power to the bureaucracy and should have sunset provisions under which the Bill can come to Parliament for amendments. He said the Bill had provisions that were against the federal structure.
The Bill for the differently abled seeks to streamline the appointment and resignation of members of a trust that helps persons with disability to live independently by promoting measures for their protection in case of death of their parents.
It also evolves procedures for appointment of their guardians and trustees, and facilitating equal opportunities in society.
Under the legislation, the chairperson and members of the board of the national trust can hold office for a term of three years from the date of their appointment or until their successors are appointed, whichever is longer.
The Bill also states that the Centre will initiate the process for appointment of the chairperson or any member of the board, at least six months prior to the expiry of their tenure.