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Kerala Government Imposes Price Cap Of Rs. 13 Per Litre On Bottled Drinking Water Declaring It An Essential Commodity

Kerala Government Imposes Price Cap On Bottled Drinking Water
The Kerala Government in a recent announcement on 13th February, 2020 has stated that after recognizing bottled water as an essential commodity, they have taken the decision of putting a price cap at Rs. 13, bringing it down from Rs. 20. Besides the price regulation, Kerala Government has also decided to make the Bureau of Indian Standards of water quality mandatory for all the water brands in order to remove the manufactures who follow the illegal structures relating to it. 

This decision to fix a price Cap was taken during an audit on bottled drinking water manufacturers, the meeting that was conducted between the State Government and these manufactures in 2018, came up with the fixed price ceiling. 

However, this decision was opposed by a few market players and hence got implemented in 2020 when the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan signed the Food Department Proposal. Food Minister P Thilothaman had said that including bottled drinking water as an essential commodity allowed the state to fix the price cap on the brands. 

“We have added it under the list of essential articles. This means that no private bottled drinking water manufacturers can sell their product at more than the fixed cap. This will remain uniform across the state,” P Thilothaman.

The Kerala Essential Articles Control Act, 1986 (13 of 1986) defines the term ‘essential article’ as any “any article, not being an essential commodity as defined in the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 (Central Act 10 of 1955), which may be declared by the Government by notified order to be an essential article."

There are over 300 brands of bottled drinking water. The Kerala Bottled Water Manufactures' Association has welcomed the government's move.

 

Author - Dyuti Pandya


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