Minister suggests high penalty for lapses in product quality
In case of lapses in quality specifications, the extent of punishment under a new law on consumer rights protection should be high, suggested the commerce minister yesterday.
“I think the extent of punishment should be set high, especially for the makers of products that threaten life,” Faruk Khan told a discussion on Consumer Rights Protection Ordinance 2008 at the National Press Club in the capital.
The much-awaited Consumer Rights Protection Ordinance, which was passed by the immediate caretaker government, has recently been tabled in parliament for ratification.
The Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) organised the programme, where Rasheda K Chowdhury, former adviser of Fakhruddin-led caretaker administration, News Today Editor Reaz Uddin Ahmed, Unnayan Shamunnay Chairman Atiur Rahman and Ubinig Executive Director Farida Akhter spoke among others.
CAB President Borhan Ahmed chaired the programme.
The ordinance was gazetted on October 13, 2008 after nearly two decades of contemplation by successive elected governments.
It has the provision to charge as much as Tk 2 lakh in fines or three years in jail, or both, for the traders found guilty of adulterating food and medicine or cheating consumers by any means.
Demands were placed to ensure compliance of labelling rules, opening of help lines and allowing direct filing of cases with the court. Some discussants also suggested bringing some government service providing bodies under the law.
“I am hopeful that the law will be passed in the current parliament session,” said Khan.
A parliamentary standing committee is now scrutinising the ordinance.
Atiur Rahman favoured increased competition to help consumers remain free from any monopoly or cartels in price fixing.