Somesh Arora: MRP stickers law impossible to execute

Labour of two and half years by an inspector to clear one container. If there is something that  really surpasses the directive of Customs to clear inbound goods in containers, which do not have MRP stickers on it while coming from country of import, only after putting the same on the Indian port, in terms of being impractical and absurd (since the possibility of massive congestion at ports has never been considered by the authorities, therefore the dictate in practice is followed more in breach than in compliance). Then, it is the requirement under Standards of Weight & Measurement Act,1976 (soon to be re-christened as ‘Legal Metrology Act,2009) spelt out under its Section 41(3) that special category goods (which includes the mason’s measurement tapes) conforms to the Indian standards of such measurement and same has been verified and stamped with special seal in a prescribed manner on each such tape by a local inspector before whom such measure (say mason’s measuring tape) has been produced. Let us assume that a container of mason’s tape is imported from China (In fact, many such are actually imported along with weighing machines to whom this provision equally applies) and both the importing party and the concerned Inspector are law abiding citizens of India. What follows next. The Inspector of that department reaches the container, starts opening 1,50,000 pieces one by one, measures them according to Indian standard piece, puts a verification seal and then repacks the same.

Whole process will take minimum two minutes or 3,00,000 minutes for 1,50,000 pieces or 5,000 man hours or at the rate of working of 40 hours per week, by the Inspector (who has to work like a labourer), a total of 2100 hours per year or total of 2 years and 4 months to clear one container (not to allow for his earned and casual or medical leaves), otherwise the time can be more than two and a half years.

And the cost to the exchequer in terms of average salary of Rs.30,000/ per month for an inspector shall be a staggering Rs 8,40,000/. The law is an outcome of India being party to an International treaty on Legal Metrology.

Little wonder that in the market, both Indian tapes as well as imported tapes without verification and special seal are freely available.


Some one who picked it up for someone else, later became the First person of the country. 

Someone who cleaned it for the grand lady, had earned his award from the First person of the country,

Some one who threw it on George Bush ,became an eligible bachelor in the Islamic world,

Someone bought it Japani and sang his way to the hearts of millions in the communist world,

Someone got, of his big brother, to Ayodhya and proclaimed to the world, ` juta is king, juta is king’.

And there was some one who made India to wear it and polished off, the world wide `Ghata’ of his


But when I brought a pair for my wife as a valentine gift, she complained ` you always bring gifts for your use and this creates the rift.’

Blunder by Environment Ministry

Environment Ministry’s Mismanagement in Plastics Waste Management at the insistence of the Apex Court, which had made it clear that the deadline for stopping usage of plastic pouches and sachets will not be extended beyond 1st March,2011 and that the Ministry of Environment should notify the draft rules prepared in this regard, finally, the Ministry of Environment has acted and notified on 4th Feb, 2011 the

Plastics (Manufactures, Usage and Waste Management) Rules, 2009. Since, the rules become effective from the date of the Notification , unless another date is mentioned, therefore, all users of the banned material, which prominently include Gutkha Industry were in for a rude shock, as all their materials including the ones already manufactured and even with retailers became offending goods overnight without even providing any lead time. This was sure a harsh step, as even S.C. had given an indicative dateline of 1st March, 2011. All Gutkha units which operated machines, were in any case required to pay Central Excise duty under the compounded levy scheme duty for all machines in advance upto 28th Feb 2011, running into crores, which is not liable to be refunded, as the Department takes the view that duty has to be discharged on the highest number of machines that may be operative during the month. They were virtually caught between the devil and the deep sea. As manufacturing means they will be pulled up by the sleuths of Min. of Environment and non-manufacturing means crores of duty paid as central excise going down the drain. Thanks to the Government, it appears that some of my Learned Brothers in legal fraternity are in for good times.