The government has forbidden companies from selling the same product at different ‘maximum retail prices’, bringing relief to customers who have complained against a higher MRP being charged at airports, malls and cinemas.
The directive is part of the changes in the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011, which will come into effect from January 1, 2018.
“We are giving a breathing period to the manufacturers, so they have enough time for compliance.”
The department of consumer affairs said it adopted a balanced approach after wide consultations.
“Based on the experience of implementation of the rules and after a detailed stakeholder consultation, the Department has amended the rules, aimed at enhanced consumer protection, but at the same time balancing with the requirement of ease of doing business,” the consumer affairs department said.
“Specific mention is made in the rules that no person shall declare different MRPs (dual MRP) on an identical pre-packaged commodity unless allowed under any law. This will benefit consumers at large as they are having a complaint regarding dual MRP for an item depending upon the different type of public places like cinema hall, airport, malls etc.,” the statement said.
Restaurant owners said the rules won’t apply to them.
“This won’t be applicable to restaurants as under GST they come under the category of supplier services. And the latest notification is applicable for retail services where the customer buys off the counter,” said Rahul Singh, secretary, National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI).
The government has also ordered that the size of letters and numerals in the declaration should be increased to make it easier for consumers to read.
The consumer affairs department has also ordered that medical devices such as stents, valves, orthopaedic implants, syringes and tools for operations will have to display MRP.
“This is to raise awareness because the customer has a right to know what the prices (of these medical devices are),” Jai Priye Prakash, secretary, department of pharmaceuticals (DoP), told ET.