2nd state to prohibit dual MRP
Rajasthan has become the second state in the country after Maharashtra to prohibit all stadiums, restaurants, airports and cinema halls from charging any price more than the printed Maximum Retail Price (MRP) for packaged food items such as drinking water bottles, wafer and biscuit packets.
The state also prohibited levying dual MRP for the same item. An order issued earlier this month, state government has directed all district commissioners and local authorities to take all possible action against such practice.
- This Move comes after a letter was issued by the Centre in December 2016, which had directed state governments and union territories to stop the practice of dual MRP.
- Directive was issued after it got several complaints from consumer rights activities and others that many cinema halls, stadiums, multiplexes are charging dual MRP for the same packaged food items in clear violation of Packaged Commodity Rules 2011 and Legal Metrology Act, 2009.
- It was also found that in airports and movie halls, same packaged food item like mineral water bottles, wafer and biscuit packets were being sold at higher rate than outside. The hotel owners gave the excuse that the packaged food item was being sold at a rate higher than the printed MRP because they provide additional services like air-conditioned services etc.
- Maharashtra government in a major state-wide crackdown booked a total of 134 establishments for violation of the Packaged Commodity Rules.
- The state government also sent notices to five manufacturing companies asking them to reply within seven days explaining why different rates were charged for the same product.
- In the raids and investigations it was found that many malls and multiplexes in and around Mumbai sold packaged aerated drinks and mineral water at a price which is almost 10-30 per cent more than the printed MRP.
- The state government also issued a notice to the BCCI directing it to instruct all its stadiums and sister associations to stop this practice during cricket matches particularly during the Indian Premier League (IPL).
- BCCI subsequently complied with the directions. Officials said during the investigation by state agencies it was also revealed that many cinema halls didn't allow outside eatables inside their premises, which forced the common man to purchase packaged food at a higher rate, particularly drinking water bottles.