The Consumer Protection Bill, 2017, which aims at strengthening the consumer protection mechanism, is set to be introduced during the monsoon session of Parliament.
The new law, which will replace current Consumer Protection Act, 1986, once it is passed in Parliament, enforces consumer rights and provides a mechanism for redressal of complaints regarding defect in goods and deficiency in services.
According to an official, the draft Bill is pending with the Standing Committee on Food and Consumer Affairs.
"Once the committee approves the draft Bill, it will go to the Cabinet. Subsequently, the government can introduce it in Parliament," said the official, who did not want to be identified.
The official added that the main objective of the Bill remains establishment of mechanism for consumer protection. However, details about the quantum of punishment are not clear yet.
It proposes to have Consumer Dispute Redressal Commissions, which will be set up at the district, state and national levels. Also, it seeks formation of Consumer Protection Authority to investigate consumer complaints.
A few months ago, Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan had approved guidelines in accordance with the current Act in order to make service charge in restaurants "voluntary".