In order to protect the rights of consumers, the Directorate of Commerce and Industry as per the directives of Chief Minister Mehmood Khan has activated as many as 23 Consumers Protection Councils (CPCs) across the province. Director Industry and Commerce Muhammad Yasir Hassan talking to this agency said that the CPCs have also been set up in merged districts, adding that apart from the councils, currently there were 17 Consumer Courts operational in the province. He said that a common man only needed to file a complaint verbally or on a simple page against the shopkeepers, product or professional service providers and submit it to the Assistant Director CPC in their respective areas. He said that the Assistant Director (AD) would evaluate the complaint and on the basis of facts would take action against the responsible. The AD has power to recover up to Rs 50,000 from the person responsible and could impose a penalty on him. In case of damages more than Rs 50,000, he said the AD would file a case in Consumer Court and after due course of legal hearing the relief would be provided to the complainant. He said it was the right of every individual to get quality services, product and essential commodities against the money they paid, adding that CPC was a platform for educating and redressing grievances of consumers. He said”Under Consumer Protection Act 1997 the CPC can take action against overpricing, unhygienic conditions, unqualified staff, false advertisement, low gauge at filling stations, low weights at bakery, vegetables and fruit shops and other essential services.” Meanwhile, talking to APP chief executive of KP Network for Consumer Protection, Nadeem Iqbal underlined the need for creating awareness among masses about this very right of the people. He said that it was the duty of the consumers to register complaints against all those who were exploiting them, adding that the provincial government has set up councils under the industries department to protect the rights of consumers now its up to consumers to avail the service. Iqbal suggested that CPCs should have to hold regular meetings as per Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Consumer Protection Rules 2007 and also educate masses and civil society at provincial and district level to build trust of consumers in those bodies.