In a relief for most of us, the union government has banned companies from selling the same product at different ‘maximum retail prices’ (MRP). This comes after many customers continuously 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,” said the union government in a statement. The department of consumer affairs said it adopted a balanced approach after wide consultations.
Apart from this, products sold on e-commerce platforms and medical devices declared as drugs like stents will now have to mandatorily carry retail prices and other essential information from next year as per the government’s new labelling rules.
With growing online trade, the new rules has brought products sold on e-commerce platform under its ambit.
“Goods displayed by the seller on e-commerce platform should contain declarations required under the rules like name & address of the manufacturer, packer and importer, name of the commodity, net content, retail sale price, consumer care complaint, dimension etc,” the statement said.
Among other key changes, the government has increased the fontsize of letters and numerals for making declaration so that consumers can easily read the same. The net quantity checking is made more scientific, with introduction of e-coding. Bar Code/QR Coding is allowed on voluntary basis.
On medical devices like stent, valve, orthopaedic implants, syringe and tools for operations etc, the government said, “consumers were facing difficulty as prices of devices were sold according to the paying capacity of the consumer. Even after capping MRP, many companies were not displaying.”
“Also, there are important declarations other than MRP that need to be displayed, are brought into the purview of declarations to be made under the rules,” it said.