Powers and Functions:
Under Section 89 of the Consumer Protection Act, 2012, the OPC is mandated to
a. Enforce the provision of the Act;
b. Advice and educate Consumer on the legal rights and remedies of Consumer;
c. Carry out research on consumer issue;
d. Promote and develop policies pertaining to sustainable consumption of goods and services;
e. Disseminate information on provision of the Act;
f. Encourage sustainable consumption by disseminating information on environmental impact of consumer choice and impact of products on environment;
g. Advise consumer on following matters:
· Health risk;
· Product hazard;
· Weight and measures, prices, quality, credit condition;
· Product labelling;
· Safety, durability, performance, repair ability, truthfulness, availability;
· Consumer Choice and a competitive market;
· Make all information available to the public pertaining to the complaint filed and action taken.
h. Receive complaint from the consumer and initiate enquiry;
i. Investigate any trade practice detrimental to consumer and refer to board;
j. Appoint Consumer advocate;
k. Perform any other functions as directed by the Consumer Board.
Multi-Sectoral Task Force for Monitoring Price Movements
1. Announcement by the Hon’ble Prime Minister
The Hon’ble Prime Minister during his State of the Nation Address in the Parliament on 19th June 2014 announced that a Task Force shall be established in the Ministry of Economic Affairs to combat inflation on a full time basis. The Hon’ble PM emphasized that a high and prolonged inflation is not good for customers, and not good for businesses, and is the main obstacle to economic growth. It is a cause of great concern for the government and must be tackled head-on to stabilize the prices. HPM also mentioned that the task of controlling inflation should not be left up to the government, but all sections of the society should take equal responsibility, and consumers must be mindful and resist unfair price increases.
2. Cabinet Order
As a follow up, the Cabinet issued an Executive Order (C-4/SOTN/440 dated 1st July 2014) directing the MoEA to immediately establish a multi sectorial task force involving representatives from relevant government agencies to look at and ensure that there is no erratic price rise of consumables in the country. The Task Force must submit a report periodically to the government for information and directives. The Office of Consumer Protection has been designated or entrusted as a focal agency in the MoEA to support or act as Secretariat to the Multi-Sectoral Task Force.
3. Terms of Reference
- The Terms of Reference of the Task Force are as follows:
- To undertake periodic studies on price movements and submit a report to the government for information and directives.
- To examine price increases of general consumer goods and services such as agricultural produces, meat, rentals, and transport services.
- To recommend to the government practical measures to be adopted to contain unwarranted price increases of the above goods and services.
- To suggest and institute an appropriate mechanism for inflation management.
4. Task Force Members
The following are the members of the Task Force;
- H.E. Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk, MoEA - Chair
- Mr. Sonam Tenzin, Executive Director, DoCP, MoEA - Vice Chair
- Mr. Dorji Rinchen, Marketing Counselor, DAMC, MoAF - Member
- Mr. Ugyen Norbu, Chief Research Officer, NSB - Member
- Mr. Rinzin Dorji, Sr. Planning Officer, MoF - Member
- Mr. Kesang Wangdi, Dy. Secretary General, BCCI - Member
- Mr. Kezang Dorji, Head of Finance /Mr. Sangay Wangdi,
- Head of agriculture Marketing Department, FCB Ltd. - Member
- Mr. Tshewang Penjore, Dy. Chief Legal Officer, MoWHS - Member
- Mr. Gopal Giri, Senior Research Officer, RMA - Member
- Dr. Sithar Dorji, BAFRA, MoAF - Member
5. Frequency of Meeting and Issues
The task force shall meet at least once every three months and submit a report to the government through the Minister for Economic Affairs on the overall price movements in the economy. As price increases or inflation is a multidimensional issue, the task force shall review areas contributing to the inflation with a special focus on supply and demand management. The task force is also mandated to come up with an appropriate inflation management mechanism in the country which will inform / alert the government periodically on the price movements of consumables and suggest appropriate interventions to arrest unwarranted price increases.