Director General of the Directorate of the National Consumer Rights Protection (DNCRP) AHM Shafiquzzaman on Thursday said that the Directorate will work jointly with the intelligence agencies and the law enforcement agencies to protect the rights of the consumers.
He observed that irregularities remain everywhere as such misdeeds are being unearthed wherever there is any intervention. “But, the biggest weakness of the Directorate of the National Consumer Rights Protection is the lack of proper data and information. There is no legal source of data for this organization. There is also no scope for scrutinizing the available information received from the consumers and personal sources,” he said.
Shafiquzzaman said this while addressing a seminar titled “The Consumer Rights Protection Act-2009 in participation with the economic reporters” organized jointly by the Directorate of the National Consumer Rights Protection and the Economic Reporters’ Forum (ERF) held at the ERF auditorium in the capital’s Paltan area. The Director General said that after being cheated time and again, the consumers now have reached into such level where they even could not perceive that their rights are being violated.
Citing various examples of violation of consumer rights, Shafiquzzaman said that the representatives of various pharmaceutical companies usually throng in front of the chambers of the doctors and from this anyone can assume that the physicians are prescribing those medicines as suggested by the pharmaceutical companies.
On the other hand, he said the medical representatives are also taking snaps of the prescriptions of the patients which are also similar to the violation of secrecy of the patients.
“In a nutshell, wherever we’re intervening, we’re getting elements of certain level of irregularities,” he said giving hints of conducting drives regarding the services of WASA, DESA and TITAS.
Talking about the crisis of edible oil in recent times, he said that there should not be any crisis of edible oil according to the official data.
Director (admin and finance) Monjur Mohammad Shahriar said that there is a need for strengthening more the Consumer Rights Protection Act to make sustainable the development spree.
AFP Bureau Chief and ERF vice president Shafiqul Alam said that the nature of businesses is being changed with the economic advancement of the country.
“On the other hand, the purchasing power of the consumers has increased. So, there is a need to amend the Consumer Rights Protection Act. The punishment for violating the law should be tougher.”
ERF President Sharmeen Rinvy spoke at the seminar moderated by its general secretary SM Rashidul Islam. Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) Adviser Kazi Abdul Hannan spoke on the occasion while Rajabi Nahar Rajani presented a paper on the operations of the Directorate and its Act.
Later, the Director General of the Directorate responded to various queries from the reporters.