After Hindustan Times’s expose on retailers selling products above MRP, the state government has suggested that the Centre amend relevant laws to make stringent provisions to penalise retailers, says state minister for food and civil supplies Anil Deshmukh.
MRP violations are rampant across the city. What is the government doing to ensure retailers stop fleecing consumers?
I agree that retailers are not following rules when it comes to selling products as per MRP. I have seen this myself at some malls. I had even held a meeting with relevant officials on May 4 and directed them to crackdown on MRP violations at major malls, hotels and multiplexes. We have taken cognisance of your report and action is being taken accordingly.
Don’t you think the concerned law is not effective enough? Legal provisions exist by do not stop retailers from fleecing unsuspecting consumers.
The law definitely requires amendment. Earlier, each director or partner of the establishment (found guilty of overcharging customers) was made to pay a penalty of Rs 5,000, while in the new Legal Metrology 2009 Act only any one partner or director is penalised. I am in correspondence with the Central government to amend the law and make each director or partner of the offending establishment liable to pay a fine.
What about a spot penalty for offenders?
We are conducting special drive to curb violation of MRP. It will be made more stringent.
Will any initiatives be taken to increase consumer awareness?
Consumers need to be alert too and should complain to us as and when they come up against such violations. They should also regularly follow up on their complaints. We regularly hold consumer awareness programmes to inform the public about what they should be doing if they come across any instances of violation of their rights.