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National News

Jul 30, 2019

Consumer Protection Bill, Code of Wages Bill passed in Lok Sabha

Lok Sabha today passed the Consumer Protection Bill, 2019 that aims at protecting the interests of consumers by establishing authorities for timely and effective administration and settlement of consumers’ dispute. 

It has a provision for Central government to set up a Central Consumer Protection Authority to promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers. 

The authority will have the power to impose a penalty on a manufacturer or an endorser of up to 10 lakh rupees and imprisonment for up to two years for a false or misleading advertisement. 

The Bill also has provision to set up Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions at the district, state, and national levels. Moving the Bill, Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Raosaheb Patil Danve said the Bill aims to simplify a number of rules. 

He said consumers do not get quick redressal of their complaints and with the passage of the Bill, consumers will be able to get speedy justice. He said the government aims to simplify the entire process of redressal of consumer grievances.

Taking part in the discussion, BJP’s Rajendra Agarwal termed the Bill as comprehensive. He said the nature of business has changed and consumers may easily be exploited as it is the age of e-commerce. He said the Bill will provide comprehensive security to consumers. Protima Mondal of Trinamool Congress said the Bill seeks to establish a strong mechanism to shield the consumer. 

She said bringing e-commerce under the ambit of the Bill is a big step forward.
Lok Sabha has also passed the Code on Wages Bill, 2019 that seeks to regulate wage and bonus payments in all employments where any industry, trade, business, or manufacture is carried out. 

According to the Code, the Central government will fix a floor wage, taking into account the living standards of workers. 

The minimum wages decided by the central or state governments must be higher than the floor wage.

Replying to the debate on the bill, Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar said it is a huge step for the welfare of workers in the country. 

He said tripartite consultations were held before preparing this Code and government deliberated on the suggestions given by people in this regard.

He said, the Bill will effectively address the problems relating to delay in payment of wages whether on monthly, weekly or daily basis.

The Minister said, the Code universalises the provisions of minimum wages and timely payment of wages to all employees irrespective of the sector and wage ceiling. 

He said, at present, there are 12 definitions of wages in the different Labour Laws leading to litigation besides difficulty in its implementation.

The Minister said, the definition has been simplified in the Bill and is expected to reduce litigation and also reduce compliance cost for employers. 

He said it will benefit 50 crore workers. The Bill will subsume four labour laws which are the Minimum Wages Act, Payment of Wages Act, Payment of Bonus Act and Equal Remuneration Act.
Members including from BJP, Congress, TMC and NCP participated in the discussion.

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