‘Pay Re1 per litre or exit the industry’, CJP tells bottled water companies
The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed all provinces to impose a Re1-per-litre tax on companies bottling and selling water while also constituting a committee to examine the quality of ‘mineral water’ being sold by these companies.
The issue as it concerns beverages companies will be taken up at a later stage.
In case it finds that any company is selling ‘substandard’ mineral water, the company in question will be given three months to improve its product before punitive action is taken against it.
The issue had cropped up in September during the hearing of a case related to the drying up of the Katas Raj pond due to heavy consumption of subsoil water by nearby cement factories.
Take a look: The real cost of bottled water Arguments dismissed During today’s hearing, a PepsiCo representative told the apex court that the company earns Rs158 million per year from bottled water.
At this, the CJP intervened and remarked that he had seen a report according to which there was no [additional] mineral in the water.
"If you don’t want to accept the deal [paying Re1 per litre], you are free to exit the industry," the CJP said while concluding the case.
"Show some courage and close the factory.
I will see how long can you keep it closed," he challenged the companies.
During the last hearing, Justice Nisar had regretted that bottled water companies were selling water after extracting it from the ground almost for free and had summoned the owners of all mineral water companies to appear in person before the court on Nov 13 (today).