Consumer Rights Protection

CAB’S effort for enactment of the Consumer Rights Protection Act 2009

Consumer Rights Protection Act 2009 had been the most commendable achievement of CAB over the period. The organization had been campaigning for long and lobbying with the policy makers for enactment of Consumer Rights Protection Act 2009. Since CAB’s inception in 1978, the organization continued its persistent efforts towards an Act to safeguard the rights and interests of the general consumers of the country.

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With the relentless effort of CAB since 1994, a draft Consumer Rights Protection Act (CRPA) was formulated in 1998. In February 2000, The Ministry of Commerce sent the draft Act to the Law Reform Commission to review and do necessary research. The Law Reform Commission prepared a report on the draft Act in October of the same year. The draft Act got the preliminary approval at the Cabinet but was again sent to the Secretarial Committee meeting for further scrutiny. The draft Consumer Rights Protection Act was almost finalized and again it was sent to the Cabinet for final approval. Surprisingly, the draft Act did not pass the hurdle to become an Act.

The first draft of the proposed Act was moved to the Cabinet in November 2001. The Cabinet, at that time, in principle approved the draft and formed a six-member secretary committee to examine. The draft was, at the recommendation of the committee, again sent to the Cabinet in 2004 but sent back to the ministry for further scrutiny. On 20 January 2006, it was again sent to the government’s highest policy-making body with proposals for a few amendments and ‘further scrutiny’ by the Ministry of Commerce.

The succeeding governments expressed their commitments to enact the Act in public which were hindered by different vested interest groups. CAB had been persistently following the course of activities on the draft through providing formal and informal support to different bodies and committees formed by the government on the proposed Act.

The Caretaker Government in 2007 took the matter into consideration. The Advisory Committee of the Caretaker Government in principle approved a draft Ordinance on Consumer Rights Protection in November 2007, asking the Law Ministry to plug the loopholes, if any, before the final approval. There had been again series of revisions of the draft. Finally, the Consumer Rights Protection Ordinance 2008 was approved by the Government on 13 October 2008.

CAB organized numerous press conferences, workshops, roundtable discussions, consultation meetings, training and orientation sessions and took part in talk shows to provide input to the proposed Consumer Rights Protection Act. Most importantly, CAB constantly persuades the concerned government offices to expedite the process for enactment of the Act. The CRPA was passed by the Parliament on 01 April 2009 (Act No. of 26 of 2009) and the notification in the gazette was issued on 06 April 2009.

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