New Delhi, February 7: The Central government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has resolved 3146 complaints relating to misleading advertisements during the period of April 2015 to January 2018. This was said by State Consumer Affairs Minister C.R. Chaudhary in Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
In a written reply to Lok Sabha, the Consumer Affairs Minister C.R. Chaudhary said, “During the period April 2015 to January 2018, 6230 complaints have been received in the GAMA portal. While 1262 complaints have been rejected, 3146 complaints have been resolved, 1148 complaints have been referred to the Regulators concerned for taking further action.”
He further said that the government has launched a portal called Grievance Against Misleading Advertisements (GAMA) to deal with the complaints relating to misleading advertisements.
The Consumer Affairs Minister also noted that under a MoU, the Department has assigned the task of processing the complaints received through the GAMA portal to the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) as per its code. Complaints received through this portal are evaluated by ASCI and are processed through its Consumer Complaints Council.
“In cases where the complaints are upheld, the advertisers are asked to modify or withdraw the misleading advertisements. In case of non-compliance, ASCI forwards such complaints to the Regulators concerned to take necessary action,” he added.
The Minister also said that the government introduced the Consumer Protection Bill, 2018 in the Lok Sabha on 5.1.2018. The Bill seeks to provide for the establishment of an executive agency to be called the “Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA)” to deal with unfair trade practices and misleading advertisements.
The Bill empowers the CCPA to issue directions to the concerned trader or manufacturer or endorser or advertiser or publisher to discontinue the misleading advertisement or to modify the same and to impose penalties against false or misleading advertisements.
However, the bill also makes provisions for imprisonment by a Court to any manufacturer or service provider who causes a false or misleading advertisement which is prejudicial to the interest of consumers.