No more dual MRPs in the same region

snacks and beverages

The consumer affairs department have issued an advisory to all the state governments that there cannot be two different Maximum Retail Price [MRP] for the same packed item within a state. Usually, a difference of MRPs is seen when we purchase packed products from local shops and from airports or multiplexes. Hence the advisory by the consumer affairs department is to eradicate the difference in the MRPs of bottled water, beverages, and other packed drinks and food items. There is no dual MRP provision in the packaged commodity rules and it is the duty of the state government to ensure that nobody sells packaged items at different rates within the same region. In case of difference on MRPs, the lowest price will be treated as the actual price of the packed product.

A maximum retail price [MRP] is a manufacturer calculated price that is the highest price that can be charged for a product sold in India, the only country which operates an MRP system. However, retailers may choose to sell products for less than the MRP. MRP differs from systems using a recommended retail price because in those systems the price calculated by the manufacturer is only a recommendation, not enforceable by law.

All retail products in India must be marked with MRP. Shops cannot charge customers over the MRP. Some shops may charge slightly below MRP to draw more customers to their stores. In some remote areas, tourist spots, and in situations where a product is difficult to obtain, consumers are often charged illegally over the MRP. This trend is also followed in multiplexes and airports where the customers have to pay almost double to get the packed products.

When MRP is itself the highest payable amount for a particular product, no more money should be charged from the customers and doing so is illegal. The same applies to bread packets and other food items which are sold at higher prices at different places. Hence the advisory by consumer affairs department will be helpful for the common masses in the country given that the state government takes care that nobody sells the products at two different MRPs.

Feature Image Credit: Columbus-Swiss

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