New Delhi: Owing to the activities of various companies of misleading the consumers by means of reducing the quantity of their goods while keeping the prices fixed, the Central government has made it compulsory for traders and manufacturers to sell consumer items in standardised packets and weights from July.

After discussion for over a year the Centre has set new standards of measurements for packaged foods.

Many companies without informing the customers had made changes in the weights of consumer items like soap, shampoo, toothpaste and other packaged products.

As per the new rule, which would be implemented from July, 2012, every company will have to follow a particular standard of measurement set by the government. This rule has already come into effect regarding toy and jewellery products.

The government has taken this stand after pressure from consumer organisations. Many consumers’ related affairs and issues were decided in the Central Consumer Protection Council (CCPC) meeting that was held after three years. 

Food and Consumer Affairs Minister KV Thomas said the government proposes to make standardisation of many consumer items like toys, gold and jewellery mandatory after the passage of the Bureau of Indian Standards Act in Parliament.

On consumer grievances, the minister said there has been speedy disposal of cases in various consumer courts. However, infrastructure at district and state-level consumer redressal forums needs to be strengthened.

State governments have been asked to create a corpus of Rs 10 crore with a central share of Rs 7.5 crore to promote consumer welfare activities in the states, he said.

Expressing concern over misleading advertisements, the minister said an expert committee is likely to submit a report on this issue by next month.

(JPN/ Bureau)