From August 1, cinema halls and multiplexes can sell water bottles, cool drinks and other food items only at the MRPs.
Selling any item at a price higher than its MRP in violation of the Legal Metrology Department order would result in heavy fines and also jail, Legal Metrology Controller Akun Sabharwal said.
Food items sold loose in containers must have the weight / quantity, manufacturing date, expiry date and MRP printed on them (stickers can be used till September 1), and a board with the same details needs to be displayed clearly. Any changes in weights, quantities or rates should be immediately updated. Products of multiple brands should be kept for sale.
The rates in the theatres should also be the same as in the open market, Sabharwal added.
Over the past few days, the Legal Metrology Department has received several complaints against cinema halls and multiplexes for selling food items and beverages at prices higher than their MRPs, and has hence decided to take strict action, and issued special orders to ensure transactions happened at specified rates only. Theatre owners have already been given awareness on the new rules.
On August 2 and 3, special raids will conducted on single-screen theatres and multiplexes in the Greater Hyderabad and HMDA zones to check the implementation of the rules, and on August 4 and 5, state-wide checks will be made.
Sabharwal said that the first violation would result in the booking of a case and a Rs 25,000 penalty imposed on the offender. The second offence would result in a Rs 50,000 fine, and the third in a Rs 1 lakh penalty and a prison term of between six months and one year.
He also said that cinemas should display the toll-free number 180042500333 and WhatsApp number 7330774444 for consumer complaints.