The Supreme Court has allowed restaurants and hotels to sell bottled water at a price higher than the Maximum Retail Price.
The apex court observed that since hotels and restaurants also provide a “service”, MRP rates were not applicable to this “composite transaction”.
The government had earlier, in its affidavit against the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India, said that charging more than the MRP for pre-packaged or pre-packed products in hotels and restaurants was an offence under the Legal Metrology Act.
Commercial establishments are bound to charge a premium for the services/ facilities they provide. This is why a tub of popcorn – available for a tenner by the roadside – costs upward of Rs 200 at movie theatre or why soft drinks at a mall are billed at five times their marked price .
But do you think an essential commodity such as water should be kept out of the ambit of this financial logic? Do you think it’s fair and reasonable for hotels and restaurants to charge so heavily for something as basic as a bottle of water?
Tell us in the comments section.