Multiplexes in Maharashtra can’t charge you over MRP for food, says state govt
From August 1, cinema multiplexes in the state may not be able to overcharge you for a tub of popcorn or a glass of cola, nor can they stop you from bringing in food from outside.
The Maharashtra government on Friday promised to follow a central government law from August that will ensure food is not sold over the maximum retail price (MRP).
The state also clarified there were no restrictions on taking outside food into cinema halls.
Snacks at multiplexes are sold at a premium, significantly over the MRP. The issue of exorbitant rates at multiplexes was discussed after the leader of the Opposition in the legislative council, Dhananjay Munde, raised it through a calling attention motion.
Munde pointed out that not only were people being charged over the MRP to buy food at multiplexes, they were also not allowed to take outside food in.
“How can multiplexes and malls charge different rates for food and water?” he asked.
Minister of state for food and civil supplies, Ravindra Chavan, replied saying the Centre was readying a law to ensure food cannot be sold at different prices at different places.
The legislation was likely to be enacted from August 1.
“There is no prohibition on taking outside food into multiplexes. The state home department is coming up with a policy to deal with this issue,” he said.
The government’s statements come at a time when the discussion over the price of food and water inside multiplexes has become an issue. Recently, the Bombay high court (HC), while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL), also observed that the food inside multiplexes should be sold at regular prices.
The court had said people cannot be stopped from taking in their own food. The state government then assured the court they were framing a policy.
Prakash Chaphalkar, secretary, Multiplex Association of India (MOA), said there has
been no circular or instructions yet from the state government regarding allowing outside food into multiplexes. “The matter is still subjudice. We are waiting for the high court to give its order, which we are ready to implement,” Chaphalkar said.