MRP on packaged consumer products to be same from January 1
The Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 was amended to make manufacturers to sell a packaged product at same price across all platforms.
With an aim to benefit the consumers and protect them from paying different prices at different locations, the Union Consumer Affairs Ministry has amended the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 (PCR).
The new rules seek to regulate the pre-packed commodities across India.
After this amendment, which was notified on 23 June 2017, the rules will be known as the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Amendment Rules, 2017. In accordance with the new rules, which will come into effect from 1 January 2018, the price of packed goods would no longer depend on where the product is purchased, may be a mall, a five-star hotel, an airport or a local Kirana store.
Highlights of the amendment
• MRP: As per the amended Legal Metrology Rules 2017, the retail sale price of any packed product will be the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) inclusive of all taxes. The rule will have the provision to round off the price to the nearest rupee or 50 paise.
• Legal provision on MRPs: A new legal provision has been inserted to make sure that no person is able to declare different MRPs on an identical pre-packed commodity. This provision was inserted with an aim to curb the possibility of any vendor charging differential prices for the same product.
• Size of Display: The new rules also talk about the size of the display on the pre-packed goods. The new norms say that the sellers will have to enhance the size of letters and numerals for making declarations about the packaged goods clear to the consumer. The declarations include things like date, month and year for best before use among others.
• e-Commerce Marketplaces: In terms of the e-commerce marketplace, the new rules say that “An e-commerce entity shall ensure that the mandatory declarations as specified, except the month and year in which the commodity is manufactured or packed, shall be displayed on the digital and electronic network used for e-commerce transactions.” In this term, e-Commerce entities include companies like Grofers and BigBasket, who stock the inventory. However, e-Commerce entities like Amazon India and Flipkart who do not own an inventory, the responsibility of the correctness of declarations will lie in the hands of the manufacturer or seller or dealer or importer. The onus of ensuring due diligence before dispatching the products, however, will lie with the online marketplaces.
As per the gazette notification issued by the government, the food products will be covered under specifications set by the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.