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[Consumer Affairs Page]
 

Action plan for 2007

WE inform the consumers, manufacturers, traders and industrialists that there will be a lot of conceptual and administrative changes in due course.

The rate of activism in many areas will be increased aiming at results. We genuinely understand the feelings of the consumers on the prices of consumer goods and services.

It is true that in reality and as a concept, generally prices of goods and services will go up.

It is the duty of the government, the authority and those who are concerned to control the price and to make adjustments to ease the burden of the consumer. Local and international organizations and conventions have repeatedly reiterated this concept for which we are bound to act upon.

It is only by joint efforts of all the key players that we can achieve our target. We are taking part at the “Deyata Kirula” exhibition at BMICH from February 4 to 9 where we have organised a consumer and legal clinic with other projects such as Street Dramas, and other events in the course of awareness programmes.

We look forward to organize the World Consumer Day on March 15 in a grand scale.

The programme we have launched so far to educate the business community is a tremendous success. We invite the traders, especially Colombo - Pettah traders to take part at the orientation seminar on 14th February 2007.

We will keep the public informed of the current changes and the plan of action of future programmes inviting the public to communicate with us in order to achieve our objectives in the interests of the public at large. Some of the projects are:

* Establishment of Consumer Courts

* Scheme for Registration of Traders

* Publicity on Better Food and Health Habits

* Strengthening the regional set up

* Network connection with international institutions

* Expand and sustain the Consumer Society Network

* Launch of Consumer Education Schemes

* Closer Monitoring and Dealing with Consumer Deceptions

Sarath Wijesinghe,

Chairman,

Consumer Affairs Authority


Trade Minister visits Consumer Affairs Authority

MINISTER of Trade, Marketing Development, Co-operatives and Consumer Services Bandula Gunawardena paid a visit to the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) on last Friday. The Minister was accompanied by Dr. R. M. K. Ratnayake, Secretary to the Ministry.

At a special meeting of the staff officers of the CAA arranged at the auditorium to receive the Minister, CAA Chairman Sarath Wijesinghe welcomed him and thereafter proceeded to introduce the officials and briefed their duties and responsibilities.

In the course of the discussions that followed, the Minister sought certain clarifications and observed that the rule of the CAA and its existence should be felt by the people at village level, so that they would feel that there is an organisation to look after their interests.

It is through this process that the confidence and support of the people for the activities of the CAA could be harnessed. The Minister also said that he would meet the staff shortly in order to get an indepth knowledge of the entire activities vis-a-vis the provisions of the Act No. 9 of 2003.

He further said efforts have to be made to see whether the CAA could manage its affairs without depending on the Treasury for capital expenditure.


Questions and Answers

Q 1. Can the Consumer Affairs Authority undertake campaigns to raise the awareness of consumers?

A. Yes. It is one of the functions of the Authority and is states in the Act as “to keep consumers informed about the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standards and price of goods and services made available for purchases.”

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Q2. If so what is your target group?

A. The term CONSUMER is often understood as individuals who are consuming products and services. However, companies (manufacturing companies as well as service companies) and public and private organisations, including governments are also consumers.

Such institutional consumers are many times larger than individual consumers and can influence the market situation for sustainable products services significantly.

Consumption of any specific service or product almost always involves a wide range of stakeholders. Most people tend to interpret “consumption” as the food we eat and the things we use.

The things what we use also include services such as housing, transport, healthcare, information etc. Apart from consumers, there are normally producers, distributors, authorities, investors, Interest organisations etc. that all have an interest on consumption. In addition producers, civil society organisations and Governments can also be considered consumers of raw materials, services and information in different ways.

Therefore, it is strongly recommended that all stakeholder groups are given an opportunity to take an active part in, or at least influence the consumption efforts that affect them.

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Q3. What is awareness raising?

A. Raising the public’s understanding and awareness of the meaning and importance of unsustainable consumption, offering them alternatives in order to pursue better lifestyles.

Director

Competition Promotion, CAA


 

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