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Selling water bottles above MRP declared illegal at public places

NEW DELHI:  It has become a common practice at malls, multiplexes, airports, or restaurants to sell packaged mineral water by printing different MRPs  labels between Rs 20 and Rs 150 per bottle.

Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Tuesday tweeted that the consumer forum under his ministry have been receiving complaints relating to different MRP being charged for packaged mineral water at different places and declared this practice as illegal.

He further tweeted that such illegal acts not only attract penalty but also lands the accused in jail, depending on the case.

“Mineral water bottle will be available at the same rate at airports, hotels and malls,” he tweeted.

In October last year, Paswan had said that sale of packaged water and soft drinks above MRP (Maximum Retail Price) — including at airports, multiplexes and hotels would attract stringent penal actions like fines and jail term.

According to Section 36 of Legal Metrology Act, if he/she is caught selling a product above MRP needs to pay a fine of Rs. 25,000 for the first time, Rs. 50,000 will be charged on being caught the second time.Then a fine up to one lakh rupees or jail term of one year or both will be applicable, if a person is caught the third time.

“Charging above MRP is violation of the law. But we still see at airports, multiplex and hotels, that packaged water is sold at more than the MRP. This needs to be stopped,” Paswan had said.

The packaged drinking water is sold at 10-20 per cent higher rates at these places, while in some cases, MRP is not even written on the water bottle and “soft drinks like Coca Cola are sold in loose at an increased rate”, Paswan had said.

“We have sufficient powers to take action against violators and we will take if consumers file complaints in this regard. There is penalty and even jail term for violators,” Paswan had said.

With PTI inputs