Category Archives: Media Coverage

CPDI urges govt to implement Consumer Protection Act

Expressing concern over the inordinate delay in the establishment of the Consumers Protection Council in the capital, the Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) has urged the federal government to immediately implement the Islamabad Consumers Protection Act, 1995.

In a statement issued here on Monday, CPDI Executive Director Amer Ejaz said under the Islamabad Consumers Protection Act, 1995, the federal government had to establish the Consumers Protection Council for determining, promoting and protecting the rights of consumers; however, it has failed to do so even after the passage of 22 years. “The delay speaks volumes of the government’s lack of interest in the rights of consumers, though it is responsible for ensuring that the businesses follow ethical practices,” he added.

Ejaz urged the government to implement the Islamabad Consumers Protection Act, 1995, in letter and spirit by establishing the Consumers Protection Council at the earliest. He also demanded the establishment of a working complaint handling mechanism for the residents of Islamabad whereby they could launch complaints regarding the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of goods and services. For carrying out the purposes of the act, the federal government made the Islamabad Capital Territory (Consumers Protection) Rules, 2011, after a delay of 16 years.

However, no concrete step has been taken in the direction of implementing these rules because of the delay in the establishment of the Consumers Protection Council, as well as the Islamabad Consumers Association and Area Consumers Associations.

CPDI urges govt to implement Consumer Protection Act

CPDI urges govt to implement Consumer Protection Act

Pr ISLAMABAD – Expressing concern over the inordinate delay in the establishment of the Consumers Protection Council in the capital, the Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) has urged the federal government to immediately implement the Islamabad Consumers Protection Act, 1995.

In a statement issued here on Monday, CPDI Executive Director Amer Ejaz said under the Islamabad Consumers Protection Act, 1995, the federal government had to establish the Consumers Protection Council for determining, promoting and protecting the rights of consumers; however, it has failed to do so even after the passage of 22 years. “The delay speaks volumes of the government’s lack of interest in the rights of consumers, though it is responsible for ensuring that the businesses follow ethical practices,” he added.

Ejaz urged the government to implement the Islamabad Consumers Protection Act, 1995, in letter and spirit by establishing the Consumers Protection Council at the earliest. He also demanded the establishment of a working complaint handling mechanism for the residents of Islamabad whereby they could launch complaints regarding the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of goods and services.

For carrying out the purposes of the act, the federal government made the Islamabad Capital Territory (Consumers Protection) Rules, 2011, after a delay of 16 years. However, no concrete step has been taken in the direction of implementing these rules because of the delay in the establishment of the Consumers Protection Council, as well as the Islamabad Consumers Association and Area Consumers Associations.

http://nation.com.pk/business/12-Sep-2017/cpdi-urges-govt-to-implement-consumer-protection-act

Govt urged to enforce consumer protection law

With people continuously cheated by various establishments, a non-governmental organisation has urged the government to enforce consumer protection laws in the capital.

The Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI), expressing concerns over the extended delay in establishing a Consumer Protection Council in the capital, has urged the government to implement the Islamabad Consumers Protection Act 1995.

CPDI Executive Director Amer Ejaz, in a statement issued on Monday, said that under the law, the federal government was supposed to establish a CPC, for determining, promoting and protecting the rights of consumers.

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However, he pointed out that the government has failed to do so despite the passage of 22 years since the law was adopted.  “The delay speaks volumes of the government’s lack of interest in the rights of consumers, though it is responsible for ensuring that businesses follow ethical practices,” he stated.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 12th, 2017.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/1503687/govt-urged-enforce-consumer-protection-law/

Sindh govt fails to establish information commission within prescribed time

Dream of having access to information in matters of public importance continues to remain unfulfilled in Sindh.

The Sindh Assembly akin to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab passed the law in March this year promising to ensure citizen’s access to information in government departments but the government has not yet taken measures to implement the law.

After the passage of Sindh Transparency and Right to Information Act, 2016, the government was supposed to establish Sindh Information Commission within 100 days to regulate matters pertaining to right to information. However, there has been no progress on the law implementation even after five months.

According to the law, the Sindh Information Commission would comprise three members to be appointed by the government. The commission would be headed by chief information officer who would be a retired bureaucrat of at least grade-21.

The law also decreed that the government would have division or district level information offices, under the supervision of divisional commissioners, with members from civil society and lawyer fraternity to look into public grievances related to their right to information.

“Anyone who believes that his request is not being entertained and government officers refuse to provide him the information, he will have right to lodge complaint with the information commission. The commission will decide every complaint within 45 days,” read the law. “Any officer [who] fails to provide information to citizens will be punished with fine,” the law maintained, adding that if any officer did so with mala fide intention, this would lead to a fine of up to 10% of his basic salary.

Moving the bill, Parliamentary Minister Nisar Ahmed Khuhro had said that people always accused the government for corruption and bad governance, as well as violation of laws, but after this bill, the government would be accountable to every citizen.

Commenting on the non-implementation of the law, Toufique Ahmed Wasan, provincial coordinator of Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives, a not-for-profit civil society organisation, said that passage of the law was positive news as it showed the government’s commitment to empower ordinary persons, but ironically the law remains only on papers like many other laws in Pakistan. “Sindh governor has given the assent to the bill and government also issued gazetteer notification but the information commission is still not formed,” he said.

Dr Syed Raza Ali Gardezi, civil society activist who also played a role in drafting this law, said it was a people friendly law but unless the information commission is not set-up, it will remain a ‘toothless effort’.

“I have written a number of letters to parliamentary minister and chief minister asking them to set-up the information commission but no one has heeded our plea,” lamented Dr Gardezi.

However, when contacted, the parliamentary minister assured that the government is serious in implementing the law. We have started consultations to appoint the head of the information commission and rules will be drafted later, said Khuhro. “We will set up the commission within a few days,” he affirmed.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/1489283/sindh-govt-fails-establish-information-commission-within-prescribed-time/

Environment, Energy sectors ignored in Punjab Budget: CPDI

Lahore: Punjab government has not given due share to environment and energy sectors in its development budget for the year 2017-18; Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) expresses its concerns while reacting to the budget. Climate change and energy crisis are the two major issues challenging country’s economic growth. Punjab government has allocated 1.3% of the development budget for both of these sectors collectively. This gives a serious blow to the peoples’ expectations attached to the budget that marks start of the election year.
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RTI bill approved by Senate committee without taking suggestion from civil society: CPDI

ISLAMABAD: The Senate Committee on Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage has approved right to information bill tabled by government on May 15, 2017 with undue haste and without listening to citizens, civil society groups and journalists. Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives, (CPDI) requested through a letter dated May 17, 2017 to Chairman of the committee that the Right of Access to Information Bill 2017 under its consideration is restrictive like Freedom of Information Ordinance 2002 it seeks to repeal. Furthermore, CPDI also shared specific recommendations with Chairman of the committee to improve right to information bill. It is one of the most important democratic norms that committees listen to concerns of citizens and their groups during the legislative process but Senate Standing Committee on Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage chose not to address concerns of right to information experts convey through letters, print and electronic media. Instead of empowering proposed independent and autonomous information commission, the bill approved by Senate committee empowers federal ministers to decide what people should or should not know.

Executive Director, Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives, (CPDI), Mr. Amer Ejaz said through the statement that it is mind – boggling as to how will ministers resolve conflict of interest in deciding whether information should or should not be shared with the people. Of what use would be the autonomy and independence of information commission if it does not have the power to disclose information in public interest?”

It should be noted that The Centre for Law and Democracy, Canada, which ranks right to information laws on their level of compliance with standards of effective right to information legislation, has given this right to information bill only 105 points out of 150. Sri Lanka scores 131, India 128, the Maldives 116 and Bangladesh 107. CPDI urges federal government to seek input of RTI experts, civil society and journalists when right to information bill is sent to National Assembly.
http://nation.com.pk/national/31-May-2017/rti-bill-approved-by-senate-committee-without-taking-suggestion-from-civil-society-cpdi

Budget tracking smartphone app launched

PESHAWAR: The Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) launched here on Tuesday the country’s first ever cell-phone-based application to let people track budget allocations for different sectors.

Raja Shoaib, CPDI’s programme manager for budget watch programme, told Dawn at the launch of the ‘Budget Tracker’ mobile application that it was the first ever effort to bring information about annual budget into the hands of the citizens.

“It is a unique application. This is the best tool available to provide information about all provinces’ budget to the people. It is all in their hands now,” he said.

He said since budget was in English language so the application was also in English, but once this effort was successful they could think of bringing in such information in other local languages spoken across the country to spread information as well as make people aware of budgetary allocations in different sectors.

CPDI’s provincial coordinator Shamsul Hadi said the application could be downloaded from app store on any android or smartphone free of cost. He said it provided people with all the information they wanted to search regarding budget. There was also option for search, comment and like or dislike with this application, he added.

Published in Dawn, May 24th, 2017

https://www.dawn.com/news/1335104/budget-tracking-smartphone-ap