As early as June of last year, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs changed the rules of legal metrology and implemented the packaged rules updated as of January 2018. The new rules made it mandatory for e-commerce portals to list clearly the MRP of each product, as well as details such as' before the interval, production / expiry date, net weight etc. or face penalties. However, a new poll revealed that e-commerce players in India are openly defying government guidelines and are not listing a product's MRP on their online shopping platforms.
Conducted by LocalCircles, one of the community's main social media platforms, the survey results state that most participants were unable to locate the MRP of a packaged product on e-commerce sites and could only find the price of price list of a product, which in violation of the updated guidelines.
The survey was conducted in two phases over a three-week span since the new Packaged Goods Rules were implemented and registered over 16,000 participants' votes. Among the total participants, 78% said they could not find the MRP of a packaged product on an e-commerce site to a different extent, with the 21% of people surveyed who reveal that they have not seen an MRP on the listing of any product in portals for online shopping.
Thirty-nine percent of respondents said they could only find MRPs for 20-50% of the products they saw on an e-commerce site, while 18 percent of respondents said they had only met MRP on fewer 20% of the products sold by an e-commerce site. Only 22 percent of respondents surveyed noticed they had seen an MRP.
It should be noted that e-commerce companies often inflate the MRP planning of a product and then list it at a slightly reduced cost under the pretext of a heavy discount to attract customers, a practice that the new packaged Commodity Rules intend to end. It is hoped that the survey will attract the attention of interested bodies who will take the results into consideration in order to repress e-commerce players – Amazon and Flipkart in particular – and enforce the rules.