HYDERABAD: Liquor shops in the city are hoodwinking customers and charging more than printed maximum retail price (MRP) by using an app which does not have official sanction. At one wine shop in the city, a customer was arguing with the vendor for charging more. The vendor replied, “Here, look, I will scan the QR code on the bottle where the printed MRP is `65 using the app. I will charge you the amount displayed on the official app.” The app showed the price of the bottle as `75 against the labelled price of `65. The customer paid up, not bothering to find out if the app was an official one.
Since September 18, licenced liquor outlets across Hyderabad are charging customers 10 per cent above the printed MRP. Wine shops in Hyderabad are using an app called ‘verit’ which was recently launched by the Andhra Pradesh Prohibition and Excise Department to charge customers extra. But this is not applicable for old stock. According to Excise Department, the app is not even applicable in Telangana.
Liquor prices have gone up by `20-`80, while the price of beer has increased by `10-`20. “These prices are only applicable if printed on the bottle. No liquor vendor can charge customers above the price printed on the label,” officials from Legal Metrology said.
“The app shows the upgraded price which we should get after the price hike,” Shekhar Raju, a wine shop vendor from Somajiguda justified. However, officials from Legal Metrology state that, “Whether the price has been hiked or not, retailers are not supposed to sell liquor or any other product above the labelled MRP.”
“Even if they are clearing out the old stock, they should stick to the printed label price and not charge any customer above it,” said Vimal Babu, regional deputy controller of Legal Metrology, Hyderabad.
The sale of any product above MRP is a punishable offence under Legal Metrology. It is also an illegal offence under the Excise Department. But the officials are ignorant about the fact that vendors are charging customers above MRP.
“The Government decided to increase the price of liquor from September 18 onwards. From then on, the new MRP is being printed on bottles. But no wine shop retailer has the authority to sell old stock with the new price,” said C Vivekananda Reddy, Deputy Commissioner of Prohibition and Excise Department, who assured to look into the matter.He also confirmed that wine shop dealers in Telangana are not authorised to use any sort of app to display liquor price. “We do not have any app yet,” the excise official confirmed.