Maharashtra Allows Outside Food In Multiplexes; Vows To Decrease Price of Eatables Soon!

High Court has already asked Maharashtra Govt. regarding regulating food prices inside multiplexes.

Outside food is now allowed inside multiplexes
Outside food is now allowed inside multiplexes

In a landmark decision, Maharashtra Govt. has decided to allow movie goers to carry outside food inside multiplexes.

In case anyone attempts to stop them, then Govt. will impose heavy fine.

Besides, the Govt. has also declared that they will bring down the price of food items inside the theater.

Will other states too follow suit?

Maharashtra: No One Can Stop Outside Food Inside Multiplexes!

In the Nagpur Assembly, Minister of state for Food and civil supplies Ravindra Chavan was asked by NCP MLC Dhananjay Munde about the status of outside food being allowed inside multiplex.

In reply, the Minister informed that starting August 1st, movie goers would be allowed to carry outside food inside multiplexes.

He also stated that multiplexes won’t be allowed to charge extra for any food item sold insider multiplexes, and the prices would be brought down.

This is an interesting development, since the issue is subjudice and Bombay High Court is right now hearing a petition by Jainendra Baxi  regarding the same.

Are Multiplexes Allowed To Charge More?

As per the petition filed by Baxi, there is no provision under Maharashtra Cinemas (Regulation) Rules which prohibits anyone from carrying outside food into multiplex.

Infact, the Regulation doesn’t allow hawking or selling any food inside multiplexes, and cinema theaters, and this rule is openly violated by the cinema owners, the petition stated.

Recently, Pune district food and civil supply officer, issued a notice stating that multiplexes cannot stop anyone from carrying outside food, and strict action must be taken against such establishments.

He also issued a toll-free number where anyone can complain regarding such action.

Interestingly, High Court has already asked Govt. why they are not regulating the price of food items sold inside multiplexes.

Isn’t this a violation of free market principles?

Is The Govt. Correct In Issuing Such Diktat?

As per the reply by Minister of state for Food and civil supplies Ravindra Chavan, there can’t be two MRPs for the same product, anywhere.

This perfectly aligns with the view of the Govt., as in 2016, they informed all business establishments that multiplexes and hotels, airports etc cannot charge more than the MRP of any product.

However, to circumvent this rule, multiplexes and hotels started selling customized products, with higher MRPs.

And if any business increases the MRP, and then sells it, then it’s perfectly legal.

There is certainly a grey area in between, which both the Govt. and the multiplexes will need to consider and debate. It is a known fact that multiplexes and theater owners get minimum profits from the ticket sales, and they are dependent on the sale of food and beverages to balance the loss.

And, the fact that food items at multiplexes are priced exorbitantly is also not a hidden fact: It stops the common man from enjoying movies.

Will there be a middle-way, which suits both the business objectives, and the demands of the Govt.?

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