KARNATAKA

‘Create awareness on consumer rights'

TALK:Home Minister V.S. Acharya speaking at the World Consumer Rights Day function in Udupi  

Staff Correspondent



Minister says there are 76 lakh BPL families in State

Need to create Consumer Welfare Fund stressed





Udupi: Home Minister V.S. Acharya said on Monday that it was necessary to create awareness on consumer rights at all levels.

He was speaking after inaugurating the World Consumer Rights Day function organised by the district administration and other organisations here.

Dr. Acharya said that the issue of consumer rights had got sidetracked because the Department of Food and Civil Supplies was bogged down by the problem of providing below the poverty line (BPL) ration cards.

Survey

According to a State Government survey, 76 lakh of the State's 1.17 crore families were living below the poverty line. But according to the Planning Commission, only 31 lakh families are in that category. Hence, the State did not get Central subsidy for foodgrains for the rest of the families. He, however, said that there were problems in the survey conducted on BPL families. When it was brought to his notice that the Rs. 2-lakh grant announced by him for the District Consumer Information Centre had not been released so far, Dr. Acharya said he would talk to Food and Civil Supplies Minister H. Halappa about it.

He said steps should be taken to ensure that all autorickshaws in Udupi installed flag meters and used them.

Convener of the Udupi Consumer Forum K. Damodar Aithal said that the Bharatiya Janata Party had failed to constitute the State Consumer Protection Council so far. It appeared that the Government was not interested in it, he said and added that the Government should create a Consumer Welfare Fund. MLAs Raghupati Bhat and Lalaji Mendon, president of the Udupi Zilla Panchayat Gladys Almedia and Deputy Commissioner P. Hemalatha were present.