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Legal metrology depts cracking down on sale of pkgd water more than MRP
Friday, 17 March, 2017, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Pushkar Oak, Mumbai
The Legal Metrology departments of various states have started initiating action against food business operators (FBOs) who are involved in selling packaged drinking water at a price higher than the denoted MRP (maximum retail price).

While a notification from the Central ministry has reached all the states, it is reliably learnt that Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan have started the process by conducting regular checks and taking action against erring FBOs, and southern states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu considering positive steps.

Malls, restaurants
A spokesperson from Legal Metrology Department, Maharashtra, explained, “Companies who sell their packaged drinking water in the cities were observed selling packaged water bottles at a different price at places like malls, restaurants and movie theatres. Our officers have already instructed the FBOs by sending notices.”

Action against FBOs
He added, “We, through the FSSAI app, have received some complaints which were brought to our notice by municipal food safety officers. We have started taking strict action against FBOs who are not complying to the norms.”

The spokesperson informed, “We have demanded that Excise duties over packaged food items be charged depending upon the MRP of the product.”

Awareness seminars
With regard to Gujarat, A N Panchal, food safety officer, food department, Rajkot Municipal Corporation, revealed, “Many states have initiated action against such FBOs from last December. We in the state of Gujarat have conducted awareness seminars on updated laws. Legal Metrology department and food safety officers with some local organisations conduct seminars so that FBOs are aware about the new laws.”

He added, “Several small FBOs have complied with the new laws but we usually come across FBOs not adhering to the laws regularly. Here we have received several complaints through FSSAI app which we have informed the Legal Metrology department.”

Other issues
Meanwhile, other issues like labelling which are covered under Legal Metrology have been looked for by enforcement officers across states. States like Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Karnataka have initiated action against such FBOs. In this regard, the Centre has issued circulars to all state governments to initiate action in their respective states.
 
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