MUMBAI: The Union ministry of consumer affairs on Thursday decided to ban the ‘dual’ MRP policy, a practice through which sellers charge a higher MRP for their products in certain spaces like malls, airports and hotels.
As per the order, which comes into force starting January 1, 2018, companies will not be allowed to charge a different price for water, soft drinks or snacks at premium locations.
The decision was taken after an appeal made by the department of legal metrology of Maharashtra (LMO).
The LMO cracked the whip on high profile manufacturers for charging a higher MRP at malls, upmarket restaurants, hotels and airports.
It was observed that the quality, quantity and weight of these products were exactly the same as the ones sold by common kirana stores at a lower price.
Controller of legal metrology Amitabh Gupta told TOI, “It has been a long-drawn-out battle because the big companies approached the Bombay high court and other fora. They claimed the Legal Metrology Act was silent on dual MRP so they could charge a different price. The Act has now been amended to prohibit companies from levying two different MRPs for a single product unless done under legal provisions. Clearly, there is no law that permits them to do so.”
In view of the new order, the LMO has now issued fresh notices to these companies to desist from the practice of dual MRPs.
Gupta has called upon members of the public to report instances of dual MRPs after January 1 so that punitive action can be taken.
Citizens may complain on the Facebook page ‘Legal Metrology Maharashtra Consumer Grievances’ or WhatsApp number 9869691666 or send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.