A leading trade body in the country on Wednesday sought to turn the table over a controversy about possible price fudging by consumer goods companies, saying it's the government's rules on packaging, and not the manufacturers, that are to be blamed.
The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry said a change in the Packaged Commodity Rules has forced manufacturers to declare a lower weight on packaged goods, such as soaps, ice-creams, biscuits and breads, than actual weight so to factor in any weight loss due to weather changes.
FICCI was reacting to a move by the Monopolies & Restrictive Trade Practice Commission to investigate if manufacturers were trying to pass on rising input costs to consumers by reducing weights of packaged products, while keeping their prices unchanged.
The MRTPC order came after Hindustan Times on April 8 reported that several manufacturers of daily-use consumer products had resorted to such practice.
The fact that industry seems to have opted to declare a lower net weight rather than actual net weight speaks of a larger problem thrown up by changes in Packaged Commodities Rules, which will affect manufacturers of packaged goods like soaps, detergents, bread, bun cakes, camphor, and fertilisers, the FICCI statement said.
The move by MRTPC has "caught the industry on the wrong foot," the statement said."The truth is that most packaged commodities today carry more than the declared net weight."