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Consumer Welfare Fund - India Government


Consumer Welfare Fund

Department of Consumer Affairs

Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution

Government of India

 

The Central Excise and Salt Act, 1944 (I of 1944) was amended in 1991 to enable the Central Government to create the Consumer Welfare Fund, where the money that is not refundable to the manufacturers etc. shall be credited. The money credited to the Fund is to be utilized by the Central Govt. (Department of Consumer Welfare) for the welfare of the consumers in accordance with the Rules framed.

 

The Fund has been set up by the Department of Revenue and, is being operated by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Department of Consumer Affairs.

 

Objective

 

The overall objective of the Consumer Welfare Fund is to provide financial assistance to promote and protect the welfare of the consumers and strengthen the voluntary consumer movement in the country.

 

Policy governing the disbursement of grants under CWF

      

In order to promote consumer movement throughout the country, funds will be given from the Central CWF to the States/UTs to set up the State Consumer Welfare Fund so that to provide coverage to projects of local relevance they can take over smaller projects through State agencies or local NGOs.  State CWF will have a Central & State share in prescribed proportions.  Out of the State CWF, State Govt. can take up projects that they think are of local relevance. Monitoring will also be done by the State Govt.


Funds will be given as seed money as one time grant on 50:50 basis (90:10 in the case of Special Category States / UTs ), according to a formula based on number of districts in a State.  The State/UT Goverment to become eligible to receive the one time grant should deposit their share in a non-plan, non-lapsable public account. 

 

PURPOSE

 

The financial assistance will be given mainly for following purposes: -

 

1.     Production and distribution of literature and audio-visual material for spreading consumer literacy and awareness building programmes for consumer education;

2.     Setting up facilities for training and research in consumer education and related matters on national/ regional basis;

3.     Community based rural awareness projects; consumer clubs in schools/colleges;

4.     Setting up of complaint handling/ counseling/ guidance mechanisms like consumer guidance bureau;

5.     Setting up of Consumer Product Testing Laboratories;

6.     Building up infrastructure facilities for organising consumer education activities on a permanent basis at the district/ taluk levels;

7.     Creation of chairs / centres of excellence in institutions/universities of repute, projects for involving educational and other institutions of repute in furthering consumer awareness through research /seminars etc;

8.     Funding States/UTs to strengthen the Consumer Welfare Fund set up by them;

9.     For making available grant recommended by Bureau of Indian Standards for activities relating to standard marks, which may be considered essential by the Central Government, for the welfare of the Consumers;

10.For meeting expenses on advocacy and class action suits;

11.Projects not covered by the above, but which in the opinion of    Standing Committee, address pressing social problems and maximize consumer welfare.  In such cases the Committee will record reasons in writing.

 

Eligibility

 

1)    Any NGO engaged in consumer welfare activities for a period of three years after registration under Society Registration Act, Cooperative Societies Act or any other law for the time being in force,

 

Note - a: - Preference will be given to:-

 

(a) NGO having an all India character and having reputation, experience and standing, or

 

(b) NGO working in rural areas having larger participation of women and socially marginalized segments.

 

2)    Central and State Govt. Departments/ Organizations/ Undertakings /consumers.

 

3)    Consumer groups for taking up Class action suits instituted to pursue common interest of consumers against one or a class of providers of goods or services.

 

Note –b: - Preference will be given to proposals which have a national level impact, are innovative in raising consumer awareness and are replicable.

 

ITEMS THAT QUALIFY FOR ASSISTANCE

 

Recurring and Non-recurring expenses will be decided as per the individual Schemes. However generally the following items may qualify for assistance:-

 

1.     Purchase of equipment/ internet services/ (for activities other than short duration studies);

 

2.     Purchase of minimum furniture (for activity other than short duration studies);

 

3.     Charges for delivery of services;

 

4.     Other charges as may be considered necessary by the Standing Committee for the proper running of the programme/ project ;

 

5.     In special circumstances, Construction / purchase of office space or building by the Central/State / PSU. This will be subject to the conditions that the State Government/PSU as the case may be will share a part of the cost either by providing land for the building free of cost or meeting 30% of the cost of the building. However the Standing Committee may decide the quantum of assistance of fund needed on a case to case basis.

 

6.     Grants in aid towards administrative expenditure may be allowed to NGOs to ensure minimum staff structure and qualified personnel to improve their effectiveness and expand their activities, provided that, the grant should not exceed 25% of the approved administrative expenditure on pay and allowances of the personnel of the NGO and does not create any permanent staff liability.

 

Extent of Assistance

 

The quantum of assistance for a project shall normally not exceed Rs.3 crores. However the Standing Committee may sanction higher amounts in exceptional circumstances for reasons to be recorded in writing for such an exception.

 

A grantee NGO shall ordinarily be required to meet 10 % of the cost of the project through its own resources. (This contribution may be in cash or kind). However, the Standing Committee may for reasons to be recorded in writing, waive this condition partially or wholly.

 

Assistance will normally be for three years and in rare cases extendable by one or two more years, where after it will be expected to have become self-sustaining. It shall be the responsibility of project holder to arrange for the running and maintenance of the project after cessation of assistance from CWF.

 

Where to apply?

 

Application for seeking financial assistance from the Consumer Welfare Fund should be addressed to:-

 

Member Secretary

Standing Committee on Consumer Welfare Fund

Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution

Department of Consumer Affairs

Krishi Bhawan, New Delhi-110 001




 

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