The Indian governments; both central and state are on the path to fix the retail sale price, stopping the retailers sell essential commodities at higher prices. These commodities such as pulses, sugar, milk and edible oils are sold at higher prices by the retailers under the guise of selling in packets. The Consumer affairs ministry modified the legal metrology of packaged commodities rule allowing the government to fix certain prices. The ministry seems to have taken a lesson from the extreme surge in prices of pulses and the huge difference between the prices of loose products and those sold in packets.
The modification states that is the retail sale price of any essential commodity is fixed and notified by the competent authority, under the Essential Commodities Act, the same shall apply to the market. The notice for modification that was issued on September 7, also says that the retailers would have to comply with the modified commodity prices once the government fixes and notifies the standard quantity. The violation of the norm can lead to a fine of Rs 5,000 and detention of the whole stock.
The enforcement of these modified rules will completely nullify the Maximum Retail Price(MRP) in the case of these essential commodities. The Haryana government had fixed the MRP on the sell of essential commodities. The Maharashtra state government has also followed suit and it working towards enacting a law to counter the abnormal price rise, during the times of spurt and curb hoarding. Earlier in July, the Minister of Consumer Affairs had requested the state to consider a pricing policy for essential food items such as pulses and enforce it on all the stakeholders.