Standards made mandatory for consumer items

Standards made mandatory for consumer items New Delhi: Manufacturers and traders of consumer items like mineral water, baby food, tea, coffee and soap, besides other articles, will have to sell the products only in standardised weights and packets from July, the consumer affairs ministry said Tuesday.

"The Consumer Protection Rules have been amended to make it compulsory for the manufacturers and traders to sell the products in standardised weights and packets," Minister of State for Consumer Affairs K.V. Thomas said.

He was briefing the media after a meeting of the Central Consumer Protection Council here.

Officials said there have been complaints from consumers on lack of such standards.

According to officials, around 19 items which were earlier exempted from such an obligation would also have to follow the amended rules.

Among other steps to safeguard consumers, the ministry has written to all the chief ministers to strengthen the state and district level grievance redressal forums.

The issue of vacancies in such consumer bodies leading to delay in disposal of cases was also discussed at the council meeting.

The council, which has representatives from state governments and NGOs besides officials from various ministries, advises the central government on consumer protection laws.

Earlier, the cabinet had approved an amendment in the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, which will make it mandatory for the manufacturers to have standards in making toys and gold jewellery.

IANS