New Rules for Packaged Food Products

The Government has amended the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 vide G.S.R. 629(E) dated 23 June, 2017 and incorporated a new provision under Rule 6(1) as follows:

“6(1)(da) If a package contains a commodity which may become unfit for human consumption after a period of time, the ‘best before or use by the date, month and year’ shall also be mentioned on the label:

Provided that nothing in this clause shall apply if a provision in this regard is made in any other law.”

The facility of ‘e-code’ for net quantity assurance of the commodity and other required declarations is proposed to be given to the industries to ensure that the commodity is correct in quantity and declarations, which is optional and not mandatory.

The e-commerce companies are required to ensure that the mandatory declarations are displayed on the digital and electronic network used for e-commerce transactions viz. Name and address of the manufacturer/ packer/ Importer, Name of the Commodity, Net quantity, Retail sale price in the form MRP (inclusive of all taxes) and consumer care details.

The size of the numerals printed on the pre-packaged commodities have been increased vide this new amendment in the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011. The said amendment will come into force w.e.f. 1stJanuary, 2018 to enhance consumer protection.

For the violation of these Rules, the penalty provisions are made under section 36 of the Legal Metrology Act, 2009.

This information was given by Shri C. R. Chaudhary, the Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha, today.

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(Release ID :169376)

Amendments to the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 to make mandatory for Medical Devices to print MRP on the packages

Amended rules shall be applicable to e-commerce companies also: Shri Mansukh L. Mandaviya

Minister of State for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Chemicals & Fertilizers, Shri Mansukh L. Mandaviya, in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today, informed that it would become mandatory for medical devices to print/label MRP on the packages.

Shri Mandaviya stated that Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution has made amendments to the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 making these rules applicable to medical devices, on one hand, and to e-commerce companies, on the other. These rules shall be applicable from 01.01.2018, he added.

Further, the Minister stated that the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 provide that every package shall bear the name, address, telephone number, e-mail address of the person who can be or the office which can be contacted, in case of consumer complaints.

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VM
(Release ID :169356)

After introduction of GST, all India weighted average MRP of Urea has decreased by 71 paise per bag: Shri Mansukh L. Mandaviya

Minister of State for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Chemicals & Fertilizers, Shri Mansukh L. Mandaviya, in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today, informed that the all India weighted average MRP of Urea has decreased by 71 paise per bag. Therefore, the farmers have directly benefitted from GST. Further, there is adequate availability of all subsidized chemical fertilizers across the country and there is no report of any shortage, the Minister added.

Shri Mandaviya stated that GST being an Indirect Tax, the dealers and manufacturers collect it for Government and deposit it to the Government treasury. Prior to the implementation of GST, the farmers of different States were paying different taxes (Excise Duty and VAT) ranging between 1% to 7%. With the introduction of uniform GST at 5%, the farmers of different States are liable to pay uniform tax amount. The prices of P&K fertilizers have decreased in majority of States after implementation of GST, he added.

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VM
(Release ID :169355)

Impact of GST on Airfares

Under the GST regime the applicable tax rate on passenger tickets for economy class has been reduced from 6% to 5% (non-creditable for goods). The tax rate for business and first class has been increased from 9% to 12% (with input tax creditable for both goods and services procured by airlines). With regard to the UDAN Scheme, the applicable tax would also be 5% (non-creditable for goods) on the value of the passenger ticket excluding the subsidies provided by the Central Government and the State Governments. Moreover, since the maximum airfare or cap prescribed for the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) seats is inclusive of the applicable GST and the same is reimbursable to the airline operator(s) concerned at actuals from the Regional Connectivity Fund, there would be no impact on fares charged from passengers booked on RCS seats.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Civil Aviation Shri Jayant Sinha in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today.

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NP/MS
(Release ID :169392)

No shortage of Essential Drugs post introduction of GST, smooth supplies being maintained: Shri Mansukh L. Mandaviya

Minister of State for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Chemicals & Fertilizers, Shri Mansukh L. Mandaviya, in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today, informed that as per the information received from the All Indian Origin Chemists & Distributors Limited (AIOCD), there is no shortage of essential drugs and smooth supplies are being maintained.

Shri Mandaviya informed the House that a facility for reporting shortage of medicines, if any, by the public has been provided by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) through helpline number 1800111255, Pharma Jan Samadhan, Whatsapp Mobile Number (9695736333) and twitter handle (https://twitter.com/nppa_india).

The Minister stated that NPPA had earlier received a number of complaints from individuals through Whatsapp in the first week of July about non-availability of some formulations. These complaints of non-availability of a particular drug do not appear to be due to introduction of GST. However, in all these cases, the concerned companies have been instructed to coordinate with the complainants and ensure supply of medicine to the complainants.

Shri Mandaviya informed that NPPA has recently revised the ceiling price of scheduled formulations on account of implementation of GST and have reduced the ceiling prices to the extent the excise duty component was included in the ceiling prices.

Further, the Minister stated that the Government has taken steps to allay the fear of retailers and wholesalers about getting tax refund in time, in case of expired goods. Return of expired goods would be governed by the provisions of Section 34 of the Central Goods and Services Act, 2017.

Shri Mandaviya informed that a manufacturer may issue a credit note within the time specified in sub-section (2) of Section 34, subject to the condition that the person returning the expired medicines reduces his inputs tax credit. Subsequently, at the time when the expired goods are destroyed, the manufacturer has to reverse his input tax credit on account of the goods being destroyed. Further, where the goods are returned after the time limit specified in Section 34(2), the registered person returning the goods shall issue a tax invoice as it will be a supply within the meaning of the said Act.

The Minister also stated that to allay the fear of stakeholders on implementation of GST, NPPA has conducted various meetings with Pharmaceutical Associations/Federations etc including Wholesalers and Retailers Associations and the issues raised by the stakeholders have been appropriately addressed.

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VM

(Release ID :169241)
(Release ID :169241)