The Telangana Civil Supplies Department of Sunday released a set of guidelines for cinema halls and multiplexes across the state to follow from August 1 stating that they cannot charge about the Minimum Retail Price (MRP) for food and drink items sold. If found selling water bottles, cool drinks and other food items above the Minimum Retail Price (MRP) the establishments will face heavy penalties and also imprisonment.
Despite various crackdown measures, most cinema halls and multiplexes were found violating the MRP rule, forcing officials to issue orders and set these guidelines.
As per the new rules released by the department on Sunday, the sale of food items that are sold loose in containers must be printed with weight, quantity, manufacturing date, expiry and MRP on them. The department has allowed the owners to use stickers until September 1, until existing stocks of containers are exhausted.
The establishments must set up a board with details of weight, quantity and rates which should be displayed, clearly and be visibly to all.
Owners also must ensure that any changes in weight, quantity or rate should be immediately changed. To prevent any form of monopoly by the establishments, the department has instructed them to sell different brands of products as per the guidelines.
The foundation for the guidelines have been set in accordance with the Legal Metrology Department act which mandates manufacturers to print their product name, address, manufacturing date, expiry date, weight and MRP with customer care number on the packaged item. This includes water bottles, cool drinks and other food items.
â€œThe first violation will result in a booking of case and Rs 25,000 penalty, the second violation this fine would go up to Rs 50,000 and if the offense is repeated for the third time the fine would be Rs 1 lakh and also imprisonment ranging from 6 months to one year," warned Akun Sabharwal Controller for Legal Metrology Department.
Theatre owners have already been given advanced notices on the new rules. At a review meeting held on Sunday, Sabharwal ordered officials to ensure that the new rules and guidelines are followed. The department will conduct inspections across the city on August 2 and 3 to ensure the enforcement of the new rules in theaters and multiplexes. The department will also undertake state wide checks on August 4 and 5
The Legal Metrology Department, under Civil Supplies set the rules after receiving several complaints against cinema halls and multiplexes for selling food items and beverages above the MRP.
Those from Hyderabad may register consumer complaints with the toll-free number 1800-42500333, or send their complaints via Whatsapp Number 7330774444.