Union Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan has now approved amendments to the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011, that will come into effect from January 1, 2018.
The amended rules will also prohibit dual MRPs on products, saying that “no person shall declare different MRPs (dual MRP) on an identical pre-packaged commodity, unless allowed under any law”.
It is reported that this will benefit consumers at large as there are complaints regarding dual MRP for items sold at public places like cinema hall, airport, malls etc.
“Goods displayed by the seller on e-commerce platform should contain declarations required under the rules like name & address of the manufacturer, packer and importer, name of the commodity, net content, retail sale price, consumer care complaint, dimension etc,” a government statement said.
According to the new rules, products sold on e-commerce platforms and medical devices declared as drugs like stents will now carry retail prices and other essential information.
These rules were framed to regulate the pre-packaged commodities, which have to comply with certain mandatory requirements.
Among other key changes are:
1. Increased font-size of letters and numerals for making the declaration so that consumers can easily read the same.
2. The net quantity checking made more scientific, with the introduction of e-coding.
3. Bar Code/QR Coding is allowed on a voluntary basis.
4. The definition of an institutional consumer has been changed to prevent any scope for commercial transactions/retail sale of commodities sourced by the institution for their own use.
On medical devices like a stent, valve, orthopedic implants, syringe and tools for operations etc, the government said, “consumers were facing difficulty as prices of devices were sold according to the paying capacity of the consumer. Even after capping MRP, many companies were not displaying.”
The provisions regarding declarations on Food Products have been harmonized with labeling regulations under the Food Safety & Standards Act, 2006.