The National Movement for Consumer Rights Protection (NMCRP) is planning on lodging a complaint against the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) at the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) over a programme to be conducted by the CAA for which the funds would come from companies.

Writing to the Director General of the CAA, K.D. Arandara, Chairman of the NMCRP, Ranjith Withanage said that the CAA from March 14 to March 20 was planning on conducting a ‘consumer relief week’, the cost of which they say is approximately Rs 40 million.

The said amount is to be obtained from companies, he noted, adding that this would result in the independence of the CAA as a Authority for the protection of the consumers, being adversely impacted due to an eventual bias arising towards the companies, which the CAA inquires into based on complaints lodged at the CAA against the companies.

“We voice our opposition to this. The CAA can become mired in corruption as a result. There are 420 registered societies with the CAA. As per the provisions of the CAA Act, No. 09 of 2003, the CAA must provide funds for these societies. Yet this does not take place. We are even with much difficulty willing to part with Rs 10,000 each to the CAA, so that this programme of the ‘consumer relief week’, can be conducted. We receive no replies to the letters of inquiry sent by us. If we do not receive an answer regarding this issue, we will go against the CAA to the CIABOC,” he observed.