Govt Says Airports, Hotels, Malls Must Sell Water at Same Price

Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said his ministry has received complaints about different MRP.

The government has sought explanation from companies selling packaged mineral water over different MRPs (Maximum Retail Price) of bottles for various places, and directed that the sale price should be the same at airports, hotels and malls.

Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Monday tweeted that the consumer forum under his ministry have been receiving complaints relating to different MRP being charged for packaged mineral water at different places.

He further tweeted that it came to his notice that the companies had printed different MRPs for selling the same bottle at different places like hotels and airports.

The ministry had sought explanations from such companies on different MRPs of the same water bottle.

"Mineral water bottle will be available at the same rate at airports, hotels and malls."

In October 2016, Paswan had said the sale of packaged water and soft drinks above MRP – including at airports, multiplexes and hotels – would attract stringent penal actions like fines and jail term.

Charging above the MRP is violation of the law. But we still see at airports, multiplex and hotels that packaged water is sold at a price higher than the MRP. This needs to be stopped.

The packaged drinking water is sold at rates 10-20 percent higher at these places, while in some cases, MRP is not even written on the water bottle and "soft drinks like Coca-Cola are sold in loose, at an increased rate", Paswan had said.

We have sufficient powers to take action against violators, and we will if consumers file complaints in this regard. There is penalty, and even jail term for violators.

(With inputs from PTI)