The Cabinet has approved a new Consumer Protection Bill that seeks to establish an authority to safeguard consumers' rights along with provisions to deal with misleading ads, sources said. In August 2015, the Center had introduced the Consumer Protection Bill in the Lok Sabha to repeal the 30-year-old Consumer Protection Act, 1986. A Parliamentary Standing Committee had also submitted its recommendations in April last year. The consumer affairs ministry has brought a fresh bill as there were many amendments to the bill introduced in 2015.

According to sources, the Cabinet has approved introduction of the Consumer Protection Bill, 2017, leading to withdrawal of the 2015 bill. The new bill seeks to enlarge scope of the existing law and make it more effective and purposeful, they added. It seeks to establish a Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) to promote, protect and enforce consumer rights. It also provides for ban on celebrities for misleading advertisements.

It has provisions for post-litigation stage mediation as an alternate dispute resolution mechanism. The bill also provides for product liability action. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recently said that consumer protection is the government's priority.

"We are in the process of bringing a new law on consumer protection keeping in mind the need of the country and business practices here,” he had said.

He had announced that a Consumer Protection Authority would be formed with executive powers for immediate redressal.

"The stress is being given on consumer empowerment. Strict provisions are being contemplated against misleading advertisements," Modi had said.  - Money Control