Government decided to fix the prices of the essential items, including the packed one. Once government fixes the retail sale price, retailers cannot sell essential commodities such as pulses, sugar, milk and edible oils at higher prices or MRPs.
The prices would remain fixed even if such essential items were packed and labeled from companies and the concept of Maximum Retail Price will nullify.
Learning from recent experiences of surcharged prices of pulses and particularly huge difference between loose dal and those sold in packets, the consumer affairs ministry has modified the legal matrology rules enabling governments to fix retail prices.
The modification says, "If the retail sale price of any essential commodity is fixed and notified by the competent authority under the Essential Commodities Act, the same shall apply."
The notification issued on September 7 also says once the government fixes and notifies the standard quantity such as 500 grams, one kg or two kg, the retailers will have to comply with the norms and cannot change the price.
Officials said violation of packaged commodities rules can invite a fine of Rs 5,000 and detaining of the entire stock. "Fine is not that big but detaining the entire stock will leave the impact," said an expert.