Union Commerce & Industry Minister Piyush Goyal. (Photo: PTI)
NEW DELHI: Consumer affairs minister Piyush Goyal on Saturday unveiled right to repair portal which would allow customers to exit the ambit of manufacturers in the event of their equipment failing, and seek repairs elsewhere, joining a clutch of countries like the US and the UK that offer this facility.
He also unveiled an NTH mobile app and opened the new premises of National Consumer Helpline centre in Delhi to mark National Consumer Day. The Consumer affairs department and IIT-BHU, Varanasi, signed a memorandum of understanding for capacity building for consumer rights commissions.
On the 'right to repair' portal, manufacturers will share the manual of product details with customers so that they can either repair the gadgets themselves or have them repaired by third parties, rather than depend on original manufacturers.
Initially, the portal would cover mobile phones, electronic, consumer durables, automobile and farming equipment.
The right to repair allows consumers to repair and modify their own consumer products against the manufacturer requiring them to use their services either by restricting access to tools and components or putting in place software barriers.
The Centre had set up a committee in July headed chaired by Nidhi Khare, additional secretary, department of consumer affairs to develop a comprehensive framework for the right to repair.
The right emanated from the idea that when a customer bought a product, it was inherent that they owned it completely. For this, the customer should be able to repair and modify the product without being bound by the manufacturer’s rules and to be free from proprietary controls.
It was proposed that allowing right to repair would allow the growth of repair shops. It would also prevent customers from discarding gadgets that were deemed difficult or expensive to repair with the original manufacturers.
Speaking on the theme "Effective disposal of cases in consumer commission" on the occasion of National Consumer Day, Goyal lauded the consumer commissions for disposing of a higher number of pending cases in the last six months and expressed confidence in eliminating the backlog of cases across the country.
Goyal said there will be ramp up in the disposal of pending cases and elimination of the backlog in the days to come. The consumer empowerment is going to be a paramount feature of a developed India and called for keeping consumers at the centre of all the initiatives, he said.
He emphasised that 3T's - Technology, Training and Transparency will help towards achieving greater consumer awareness and greater service to our consumers.
Under the Consumer Protection law, a complaint is required to be disposed of within 90 days of its filing and within 150 days wherever expert evidence is required to be taken.