Ruling out the possibility of a separate law to regulate the sale of packed products above the maximum retail price, Union Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Saturday said the existing law was sufficient.
“As per the existing Act, there can be only one MRP, be it inside a mall or outside. It is strong enough. There is no need to have another legislation,” Paswan told reporters on the sidelines of the national consultation meeting of the state secretaries and controllers of legal metrology.
However, Paswan accepted that there was no mechanism to check if there was any big difference between production cost and MRP.
“No private companies can sell any product at two different MRPs. Double MRP is a crime. There is provision to deal with it strongly. (However) MRPs are declared by private companies. (So) We do not know if their MRP and actual production cost has huge difference,” Paswan said.
The minister said the state governments have been instructed to take prompt action against violators.
“We have asked state governments to be more vigilant and take strong action against violators. We need to spread awareness among consumers,” Paswan said.
Raising the issue of inaccurate weighing machines and equipment, Paswan said the central government intended to provide the state governments with technical support to prevent unfair trade practices.
“We have asked them (states) to set up facilities at gram panchayat level so that the consumers can cross-check quality weighing instruments. There should also be mobile labs that can be taken to remote areas,” Paswan said.