With no end to consumers being asked to pay extra for milk and soft drinks, despite several raids and cases, the legal metrology organisation (LMO), which comes under the food, civil supplies and consumer protection department, has asked the state to grant them more powers by making amendments to the Maharashtra scheduled Articles (Display and Marking of prices) order, 1966.
The LMO officials in their letter to the department on Thursday requested the ministry to bring the order under the Essential Commodities Act, to include packaged, processed, milk powder and skimmed milk under it. The LMO also wants the controller of rationing to specify the responsibilities of the officers in the organisation and the powers they have.
“Under the Essential Commodities Act, the offenders can even be arrested for overcharging. While it makes overcharging a non-bailable offence, only the controller of rationing is allowed to exercise the power. So we want the ministry to specify the grade of the officer who is authorised to take action,” said Sanjay Pandey, LMO controller.
In the past one month, the LMO has registered more than 200 cases of overcharging, but more complaints are pouring in. This has prompted the authority to strengthen the existing laws, to curb the fleecing of consumers.