Overcharged? Tell milk packaging firms directly at April-end meet

  • Prajakta Chavan Rane, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Apr 03, 2015 22:38 IST

Have a complaint about being overcharged for milk? You can now send your complaint directly to the milk packaging companies. The legal metrology organisation (LMO), under the food, civil supplies and consumer protection department, has decided to conduct a joint meeting between citizen groups, consumer forums and milk packaging companies at the end of this month. The date will be announced soon.

The meeting is scheduled to be held at JJ College of Architecture and will help consumers address complaints directly to manufacturing companies, some of whom blatantly deny the issue.

City consumers have been facing a common problem of being overcharged by between Rs 2 and Rs 5 for milk, soft drinks and bottled water. Of these, the highest is observed on milk bags, which come under essential commodities. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) receives 70lakh litres of milk a day. This means every day consumers are fleeced to the tune of Rs 1.5crore.

“We have realised that overcharging for milk is a massive problem involving the entire supply chain and therefore we are inviting all stakeholders to collectively resolve the issue. We will need help from the dairy development department, the police, citizens and consumer forums to root out this problem,” said Sanjay Pandey, controller legal metrology.

In the 2014-15 fiscal, the LMO received 625 complaints of being overcharged. This is nearly 50% more than the 418 complaints registered in 2013-14.

On March 9, Hindustan Times had reported about the rampant fleecing by shopkeepers across the city. Following which the number of complaints on the helpline increased manifold.

“Some milk packaging companies deny the overcharging issue. That's why we are holding this meeting so that consumers can make suggestions to the cooperatives,” said senior official from the LMO, requesting anonymity.

“Overcharging for milk is rampant and if any milk cooperative is denying it, we challenge them to come with us and we will show them the places, shops and the quantum of overcharging,” said Shirish Deshpande, chairman of Mumbai Grahak Panchayat (MGP).

When contacted, an official from a well-known milk packaging company, requesting anonymity said, “We will definitely participate in the meeting.”

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