Much to the relief of beleaguered consumers, the consumer affairs department has made a breakthrough statement in its advisory to state governments that a single commodity, product or packaged item cannot have two maximum retail prices (MRPs) at the same time. This includes bottled water, beverages, snack items, etc which are usually sold at higher prices than the MRP particularly at multiplexes, malls, airports, railway stations and some bigger restaurants.
A senior department official from consumer affairs told The Times of India, “There is no dual MRP provision in the packaged commodity rules and hence state governments must ensure that no one sells packaged items at different prices within a region. In case of different MRPs, the lowest one will be treated as the actual price.”
He explained that orders have been made by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) that no one can sell bottled water at different MRPs particularly at malls, cinema halls and airports. The NCDRC has mainly targeted all the packaged items.
The consumer department has also written to the state governments to carry out verification on the packaging of bread at various manufacturing units. The consumer affairs department has taken this decision on receiving complaints on how the actual weight of bread was found to be less in many cases than what was printed by the manufacturers.
The consumer official told ToI, “As per our norms, the net weight difference can be 4.5 grams. But there were complaints that bread makers were not complying with the norms.” He also added that the states have been authorised to inspect, verify and take action and henceforth expect the manufacturers to abide by the specified rules and ensure that consumers get products with actual printed weight of what they are paying.