How corruption affects citizens’ welfare
Dimapur, Dec. 22 (EMN): Corruption at the most basic levels of community exchange has direct consequences on the welfare of the citizens. For instance, extortion activities such as extortion and illegal toll at highways contribute directly to price rise, the Nagaland Voluntary Consumers Organisation (NVCO) explains.
Low-level unlawful activities—such as enforcement personnel extorting from citizens at check gates—lead to price rise in the market, bad roads, deficiency in services, unfair business practices by businessmen, and Human Rights violation etc., all of which amount to consumer rights exploitation, the organisation stated.
The NVCO issued a press release on Saturday stating its commitment to the cause of protecting consumer rights.
Every year, Dec. 24 is observed as National Consumer Day. The significance of the day is that on the day in the year 1986, the Consumer Protection Act of 1986 received the assent of the president of India.
According to the NVCO, “The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 is considered to be a historic milestone in the consumer movement in the country. Every year the observance of this day provides an opportunity for highlighting the importance of the consumer movement and the need to make the consumer more aware of their rights and responsibilities.”
“The awareness of consumer rights and duties is more important in rural areas and the responsibility of this rests with all of us, and more particularly with the government agencies. The state government has to play a vital role for promoting welfare of consumers and protection of their rights.”
As part of a week-long observance of National Consumer Day, the NVCO launched a ‘consumer awareness campaign’ on Dec. 18, highlighting the problems faced by consumers in Nagaland. The problems the organisation seek to highlight and address include the short supply of LPG cooking gas, just-for-fund-raise lottery tickets/raffle draw, etc.; extortion and illegal levy at Nagaland Police check-gates and on highways etc.
These activities, the NVCO stated, contribute to price rise in the market, even influence institutional corruption such as illegal appointments. The impact, the organisation stated, includes “spending ‘crores of rupees’ under various names of works without executing the projects especially Special Development Programme, bad roads, deficiency services, unfair means of practices by the butchers, human rights violation, selling expiry goods, food safety, food security, removal of original price tag like motor parts, etc. and all these wrong doings are amounting to consumer rights exploitation.”
As a message to citizens on National Consumer Day, the president of the NVCO Kezhokhoto Savi has appealed to the people to “remain alert while buying goods and availing services at all times remembering the great slogan ‘an alert consumer is an asset to the nation.’”
The NVCO has assured citizens to continue the fight for consumers’ rights and against exploitation of consumer rights. The organisation assured also to work for the welfare of the consumers. ‘…It is all set to reach the rights of consumers to every nook and corner in the state to promote and protect consumers rights in the state,’ the press release read.
‘Every consumer should take proper care to check weights, and to read and understand the information provided on the goods; obtain cash memo/receipt. Check the quality and quantity, ISI mark, Agmark, MRP, etc.,’ the organisation stated.
The NVCO also wished the people a merry Christmas, and joyful celebration of the birth of Lord Jesus Christ.