Recently, the consumer forum of Chandigarh passed an order, prohibiting the selling of paper bags with brand names printed on them. However, the Corporate retail outlet within the city have discovered new ways to sidestep this ban. They have decided to sell plain cloth bags instead of paper with no advertisement printed on it but in a double price. Furthermore, the retailers highlighted the point that the forum’s order is for Chandigarh particularly and is not applicable in Vijayawada.
Things have taken drastic leap, printed paper bags are sold for Rs12 whereas plain cloth bags are sold in exactly double the price .i.e. Rs 24.
Ramakanth, a store manager of a retail conglomerate in Vijayawada said that they have received instructions from the management on the price of paper bags as well as cloth bags. He said all other corporate retailers have also adopted the same strategy when it comes to selling paper bags.
Vikas Pandey from consumer rights organisation has put forward his point of view and said that charging for printed bags falls under ‘unfair trade practices’. “We have observed that some retailers are selling bags by printing Maximum Retail Price (MRP) on them to sell it as any other product. However, these bags are not supposed to be sold. We have filed cases against almost all top retail brands at various consumer forums,” he said.
Vikas observed that retail outlets will have to spend extra on branding if the practice is completely stopped. “They are actually putting up advertisements by charging the customers,” he said.