In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (2) of section 37, read with section 12D of the Central Excises and Salt Act, 1944 (1 of 1944), the Central Government, hereby makes the following rules, namely :-
Rule 1. Short title and commencement . –
Rule 2. Definitions. - In these rules, unless the context otherwise requires, -
a. “Act” means the Central Excise Act, 1944 (1 of 1944), or, as the case may be, the Customs Act, 1962 (52 of 1962);
b. “Applicant” means any agency/organisation engaged in consumer welfare activities for a period of three years registered under the Companies Act, 1956 (1 of 1956) or under any other law for the time being in force, including village/ mandal/samiti level co-operatives of consumers especially Women, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, or any industry as defined in the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 (14 of 1947) recommended by the Bureau to be engaged for a period of five years in viable and useful research activity which has made, or is likely to make, significant contribution in formulation of standard mark of the products of mass consumption, the Central Government or State Government, and includes a consumer for the purpose of reimbursing legal expenses as referred to in clause (d) of rule 8 of these rules;
c. “Application” means an application in Form AI, appended to these rules;
d. “Bureau” means the Bureau of Indian Standards constituted under the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986 (63 of 1986);
e. “Central Consumer Protection Council” means the Central Consumer Protection Council established under sub-section (1) of section 4 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (68 of 1986), for promotion and protection of rights of consumers;
f. “Committee” means the Committee constituted under rule 5;
g. “Consumer” has the same meaning as assigned to it in clause (d) of sub-section (1) of section 2 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (68 of 1986), and includes consumer of goods on which duty has been paid;
h. “Consumer Welfare Fund” means the fund established by the Central Government under sub-section (1) of section 12C of the Central Excise Act, 1944 (1 of 1944);
i. “Duty” means the duty paid under the Act;
ia “Proper Officer” means the officer having the power under the Act to make an order that the whole or any part of the duty is refundable;
j. “Standard mark” shall have the same meaning as assigned to it in clause (t) of section 2 of the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986 (63 of 1986);
k. “Welfare of the Consumers” includes promotion and protection of rights of consumers;
l. Words and expressions used in the rules and not defined but defined in the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (68 of 1986) shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them in that Act.
RULE 3. Establishment of Consumer Welfare Fund. - There shall be established a Consumer Welfare Fund with the Central Government into which credits of amounts of duty and income from investment along with other monies specified in sub-section (2) of section 12C of the Central Excise Act, 1944 (1 of 1944) shall be accredited :
Provided that any amount having been credited to the Fund is ordered or directed as payable to any claimant by orders of proper officer, appellate authority or court, shall be paid from the Fund.
RULE 4. Maintenance of accounts and records of Consumer Welfare Fund. - Proper and separate accounts in relation to the Consumer Welfare Fund shall be maintained by the Central Government and shall be subject to audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.
RULE 5. Constitution of the Committee. –
(1) The Committee constituted by the Central Government under sub-rule (2), shall make recommendations for proper utilisation of the money credited to the Consumer Welfare Fund for the welfare of the consumers, to carry out the purposes of these rules.
(2) The Committee shall consist of the following Members, namely :-
(a) The Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs, who shall be the Chairman of the Committee;
(b) Secretary, Department of Expenditure in the Ministry of Finance or the Financial Adviser, Department of Consumer Affairs in the Ministry of Food, Civil Supplies and Public Distribution, who shall be the Vice-Chairman of the Committee;
(c) Chairman, Central Board of Excise and Customs or an officer not below the rank of a Joint Secretary in the Department of Revenue of Ministry of Finance;
(d) Member (Central Excise) of the Central Board of Excise and Customs or an officer not below the rank of a Joint Secretary in the Department of Revenue of Ministry of Finance;
(e) Secretary/Joint Secretary/Economic Adviser (Monitoring) Department of Rural Development;
(f) Director General, Bureau of Indian Standards;
(g) The Additional Secretary or Joint Secretary incharge of Consumer Welfare Fund, in the Department of Consumer Affairs, who shall also be the Member-Secretary of the Committee :
Provided that the Chairman or Vice-Chairman, as the case may be, may invite representatives of the State Governments concerned and a nominee of the Consumer Co-ordination Council to the meetings as and when necessary.
(3) The Committee shall be a Standing Committee.
RULE 6. Procedure for conduct of business. -
RULE 7. Powers and functions of the Committee. –
(1) The Committee shall have powers :-
(2) The Committee shall not consider an application, unless it has been inquired into, in material details and recommended for consideration accordingly, by the Member-Secretary.
RULE 8. Specification of purposes for utilisation of credits available in Consumer Welfare Fund. - The Committee shall make recommendations :-