The Consumer Affairs Council of the Consumer Affairs Authority says that major overhauls to the provisions of the Consumer Affairs Authority Act No. 9 of 2003 would be introduced soon.
A committee had been appointed in this regard previously and a new set of amendments have since been proposed. The process of proposing reforms has been going on since 2003 and the matter was subsequently sent to the Legal Draftsman’s Department. It is now before the Authority which is set to introduce further changes.
Chairman of the Council, Attorney-at-Law Noordeen Mohamed Shaheid said that a wide range of provisions in every section of the current Act would be overhauled to make the Act workable, for the convenience of the consumers and to do away with difficulties faced by the Authority in the execution of the law.
Highlighting that the amendments were extremely comprehensive, Director – Compliance and Enforcement of the Authority, Deepthi Tissera further noted that it would introduce provisions to strengthen the competitive part, introduce procedures pertaining to how traders would be registered as such and introduce provisions to make it compulsory for consumers making a purchase to be issued a receipt.
“Currently, with regard to the registration of traders, the provisions only state that traders should be registered but does not specify how this should be done. Right now, a receipt is issued upon purchase only on demand by the customer.
“For 14 years, the amounts of the fines have not been revised. The Code of Criminal Procedure does not state much with regard to destroying expired products. There are practical issues in the current Act. There are slight changes to be made here and there,” she emphasized.