It will supplement State-wide consumer helpline
It will initially function from Ezhilagam
All interactions to be documented
CHENNAI: A Consumer Advisory Group will be set up in the city within a fortnight to help consumers understand their rights and fight for them, according to K. Rajaraman, Commissioner, Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection Department.
The group will initially function out of the department's office at Ezhilagam, in Chepauk, but will eventually move to the heart of the business districts of T. Nagar and George Town.
It will supplement the department's State-wide consumer helpline – 044-28592828. “Telephonic interaction is limiting in case of complicated questions. Once consumers can fix up an appointment and get face-to-face advice from experts, there will be more impact,” Mr. Rajaraman added.
He was addressing a seminar on ‘Safe Investments' jointly organised by the Department and the Federation of Consumer Organisations Tamilnadu and Pondicherry (FEDCOT) here on Saturday.
The Advisory Group will handle both pre-purchase queries and post-purchase complaints. All interactions will be documented and posted online as detailed monthly reports for the benefit of other consumers who might face similar issues.
Speaking about the need to give equal importance to the safety of the investment as to the rate of return, Suchitra Chowdhury, deputy general manager, Reserve Bank of India, said: “All non banking financial companies have to be registered with the RBI. The deposit tenure of a savings scheme offered by them cannot be more than five years or less than a year.”
According to her, the least that one can do before investing is to check if the company is registered with the Registrar of Companies. The registration details are available on its website.
Ms. Chowdhury said, “Savings must be used for some kind of economic activity but the route of investment must be properly verified.”
Mr. Rajaraman said that since keeping one's money under the pillow is not going to serve much, there is a need to invest. But before doing so, the investors should familiarise themselves with provisions such as the Tamil Nadu Protection of Interest of Depositors (TNPID) Act.
The seminar included sessions on redressal mechanisms, share market dynamics and investor protection.