At least 50 percent of consumers are unable to find the marked retail price as well as the best before date information for human consumption on packaged products that are sold on many newer e-commerce sites and apps like Meesho, Shopee and Swiggy Instamart.
Also, though there has been some improvement in packaged products, MRP display compliance on e-commerce sites/apps in the last 3 years, however, some platforms and sellers still not displaying this information, according to a survey by Local Circles, which hosts online communities on consumer issues, and tracks compliance by e-commerce sites and apps.
To help consumers make an informed purchase decision regarding the price and shelf life of a product while shopping online, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs implemented the Packaged Commodity Rules (PCR) 2017 amendment on January 1, 2018 and mandated the display of MRP for all packaged products listed for sale on e-commerce sites and apps operating in India.
Similarly, the PCR 2017 amendment mandated the need for e-commerce sites and apps to display best before dates online for all human consumption packaged products.
Based on consumer complaints received by LocalCircles, it appears that while older e-commerce platforms like Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Big Basket, Grofers, etc. are compliant in displaying MRP for all products, newer platforms like Swiggy Instamart, Shopee, etc. are non-compliant and do not display the MRP but just a price to consumers.
"The need of the hour is for the Legal Metrology Division under Department of Consumer Affairs to enforce the law so the non-compliant platforms and sellers take immediate action. With purchasing via eCommerce channels coming in the mainstream in the last few years and hundreds of millions of consumers across the country using this channel to purchase products, it is critical that consumers are presented with accurate and complete information when making buying decisions," the survey further stated.