Movie-goers are faced with a glaring situation where the multiplexes are barely considering cutting down on excess charges on food and beverages. Despite the government ruling that the prices of food and beverage items must not be more than the MRP rates of the products, it looks like no multiplex owner is bothered to adhere to the rule book. Unfortunately, so is the case with theatres. In fact, to make matters worse, theatres and multiplexes are putting up their own stickers over the MRP rate.
If one actually looks at it, the cost of an ISI 1 liter bottle happens to be Rs 19 in the market. However, the theatres and multiplexes are charging about Rs 25. Similarly, 400ml Coca-Cola is priced at Rs 70; an egg puff costs Rs 50, samosa is available at Rs 40, and popcorn comes at nothing less than Rs 160. And as far as the combos are concerned, the GST on them is almost nauseating.
While the customers are unhappy with no change, the concerned management is avoiding the issue by stating that only foods with MRP are supposed to be sold at their original price. They add that the prices of foods without any packing can be determined by them as there are no rules apply here. The weight & measurement department officers are being just witnesses to these malpractices instead of taking any concrete action.
And if one looks at the rules, all food and beverage items must have weight, expiry date, product ingredients, and MRP must be clearly mentioned on the board in the establishments. Also, if there is any change in prices, then they must be clearly displayed. Another rule is to provide multiple options for the customers without having items of only one particular brand. Packaged products must have the full address of the manufacturer, name of the item, date of manufacturing, expiry date, weight, MRP, and customer care details need to be provided. An additional rule is that a toll-free number has to be provided for packaged products.
While the law states that those violating the above rules will be fined Rs 25,000 for the first violation, Rs 50,000 for the second violation, and Rs 1 lakh for the third violation, along with a jail sentence from six to 1 year, it is rather disturbing that the concerned authorities are turning a blind eye towards this blatant ‘extortion.’