New Delhi, October 12: Breaking through an amendment in metrology rules, government would soon be able to keep a tab on market forces such as inflation in extraordinary situations by fixing the retail price of essential commodities like pulses and sugar.
Currently retail prices are dominated by market forces and this results in undue spike in prices during certain situations.
An official from a senior consumer affairs ministry said, “We have already notified amendments to the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011, to include a provision to fix retail price of any essential commodity.”
According to the notification, when the retail sale price of any essential commodity is fixed and notified by the competent authority under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, the same price shall be applied despite the situation of market.
The rule is applicable to essential commodities sold in loose as well as packaged form in retail markets.
However the government will not fix retail prices of essential items on a daily basis but will exercise the rule only in extraordinary situations when the prices spike abnormally.
The current rules had measures to control wholesalers and importers but not retailers. The step to fix prices during unfavorable times would certainly save the interests of consumers.