KOCHI: Case against traders for selling masks and Sanitisers at an exorbitant price in the wake of Covid-19 threat, the Legal Metrology Department has intensified inspection on shops that sell the items. In all, 16 cases were registered in Central Kerala, including Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad and Idukki districts. Complaints are pouring in from several parts of Kochi regarding the high price charged for masks and sanitizers. Legal Metrology Department central division launched the inspections to prevent sale of masks and sanitizers at high prices since Monday onward. In all, 16 cases were registered. Of these, 10 cases were reported in Ernakulam, five in Thrissur and one in Palakkad.
However, no cases were reported from Idukki district. “We have two dedicated squads comprising six officers each in Ernakulam, Thrissur and Palakkad districts to conduct checks at shops as there was a brisk sale of masks and sanitizers in the past two days. One squad has been deputed in Idukki district. In general, there is a severe shortage of masks and sanitizers in the market. We are also receiving numerous calls at our office regarding overcharging on masks. We address each complaint by directly visiting the shops,” J C Jeeson, Deputy Controller, Central Division, Legal Metrology, said. However, a major issue with the Legal Metrology Department is that officers cannot take action in cases involving the sale of one or two masks.
“Legal Metrology Department can take action under Packaged Commodities Rules 2011 when a packed product is sold at a price exceeding the MRP. In most of the cases, people buy only one or two masks from shops at a time. Hence we have limitations in taking action against such shops. Currently, in such cases, we warn traders not to fleece customers. We have registered cases in Ernakulam and Thrissur districts in which MRP rate specified on packets was found tampered with,” he said.
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