The next time you walk into a retail store to purchase something, be cautious. The chances of getting fleeced by the owner are high. As the statistics from the legal metrology department show, the retail dealers in the state are the highest violators, with almost 23 per cent of cases being booked against them for cheating customers, every year.
Of the total 33,775 cases booked by the legal metrology department between Apr 2012 - Jan 2013, 7,733 were against retail dealers. The same pattern also preceded during the previous years.
The numbers in this category also show an increase in the trend. From 10,618 cases in 2010-11 (April-March), the numbers reached 11,315 in 2011-12. A senior official from the metrology department explained that for each wholesaler, there will be lot of retail shops, as the latter are situated in every corner in state. “They don’t usually charge high, or the customer will not come back. But a marginal increase from the MRP is something most people don’t bother questioning,” he said.
A closer look at statistics reveal that cheating is carried out in all forms of trades. Number of cases booked against petrol bunks are on the rise. From 891 cases between 2010-11, the numbers shot up to 1,098 in 2011-12, while the cases recorded from 2012-13 stand at 632.
The new entrants are supermarkets, with 92 cases registered between 2012-13 (till Jan). Imported goods, fair price shops, hardware shops, textiles and readymade garments shops have higher number of cases registered against them.
Increase in trend from last 3 years
An analysis of these numbers also reveal that since 2010-11, the number of cases registered against all types of businesses in the state are increasing steadily.
From 44,986 cases booked in 2010-11, the number of cases increased to 46647 in 2011-12, while for the period 2012-13, it stood at 33775.
Not surprisingly, the highest cases reported are also from Hyderabad. The increase in numbers of cases indicate that tampering with MRP and other violations are carried out by business es.
Vishakhapatnam followed suit, with the second highest number of cases, while Kakinada, Vijayawada, Eluru, Chittoor, Guntur, and Srikakulam found some place in the list.