"The Department (of Consumer Affairs) has recently invited applications from registered and eligible voluntary consumer organisations for setting up and running Consumer Care Centres," an official release said.

The Centres will be set up at New Delhi, Lucknow, Chandigarh, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Pune, Bhubaneswar, Patna, Kolkata, Guwahati, Shillong, Raipur and Bhopal.

The Centres will provide counselling to consumers for redressal of their grievances and assist them in registerin  their complaints in the appropriate consumer fora.

They will also be authorised to take up complaints with private companies/manufacturers/service providers on behalf of the government, it added.

According to the release, efforts are on to bring consumer grievance and helpline mechanism under one common IT platform with a single toll-free number across the country.

The government has also drawn several other plans and programmes for empowerment of consumers and their welfare.

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