Shortage of manpower cripples DNCRP

Dhaka,  Wed,  20 September 2017
Published : 07 Aug 2017, 22:11:07

Shortage of manpower cripples DNCRP

Talha Bin Habib

The consumers' rights watchdog has failed to carry out its market monitoring drive at the union level because of the shortage of manpower and absence of other logistical support, according to officials.

To safeguard the consumers' rights, the government set up the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection (DNCRP) under the Consumers' Right Protection Act 2009 and it started the market monitoring drive on April 6 in 2010.

At the very beginning, the drives were restricted to only the capital.

The watchdog gradually expanded its activities to the district and upazila levels but in a limited scale because of the shortage of manpower.

Presently, there are committees comprising people from different sections at the union level, which are trying to raise awareness among the consumers about their rights.

"We could not start market monitoring drive at the union level due to shortage of manpower and other logistical support," Director General (DG) of DNCRP Md Shafiqul Islam Laskar told the FE.  

He, however, expressed optimism that they would be able to launch drives at the union level soon.

Presently, there are only two officials in each district, who are also tasked with carrying out market monitoring drive in the district headquarters and its upazilas.

The DNCRP has a total of 240 mandated posts, but, at present, the number of staff members serving the central and district offices is only 150.

The watchdog received 1064 complaints from the aggrieved/deprived consumers in July, the first month of the fiscal year (FY) 2017-18, said Director General (DG) Shafiqul Islam.

"At the end of this fiscal year, I think, the number of complaints might rise to around 12,000," he said.

In the previous fiscal year (2016-17), it received a total of 6,140 complaints and settled 5,808 cases.

In the FY 2014-15, the DNCRP received only 264 complaints from the consumers and addressed all of them. The number of complaints rose to 661 in the following fiscal year and all of them were addressed.

The DNCRP has realised around Tk 209.2 million in fines from different 30,432 commercial establishments, mostly in the capital, as of July 31.

Of the amount, Tk 2.5 million were given to 2,101 complainants.
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