New Delhi: The government has formulated a new law making it mandatory for manufacturers to package food items in standard weights, violation of which could invite stringent punishment, including jail term and penalty.
   
The government has notified the third amendment to the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules 2011, under which there would be a standard packaging system across the country.
   
The new rules notified on October 24 last will come into force from July 1, 2012.
    
From that day onwards, consumer products like biscuit, chips and others will have to be made available in standard weight size of 100 gram, 200 gram, 500 gram, 1 kg etc, sources in Food and Consumer Affairs Ministry said.
   
Currently these items are sold at non-standard packing size such as 88 gram, 89 gram etc even by some leading consumer item companies that may be causing confusion to consumers, they said.
    
Some companies have chosen to reduce the weight of the item rather than raising the price to retain their market share of the consumer products.
    
The new packaging rules have provisions for stringent punishments for the violators.
    
The violators would have to shell out fine ranging from Rs 25,000 to Rs One lakh, the sources said adding if caught for the second time there is provision of one year jail term along with the penalty amount, the sources added.

Agencies