Overcharging can't be the norm amid a pandemic
The regulatory mechanism now must step in for a price correction
A homoeopathic medicine that costs approximately R20 is being sold at six and seven times the rate across the city.
This drug, which is recommended as a prophylactic for COVID-19 by the Ministry of AYUSH, is in high demand. A report in this paper showed stores across selling it at much higher prices than earlier. They claimed that manufacturers were overpricing the drug. Some stores pointed to other chemist outlets saying that at least their price was lesser than the other.
Yet others explained that even at these high prices they were making a profit of only R20 a bottle.
The regulatory mechanism now must step in for a price correction. The point is not the rate of the overcharge, the point is that there is an overcharge which should not have been there in the first place.
Just as the very first phase of lockdown began in the city, this edit had warned against overpricing of certain commodities, telling the authorities to rapidly check hoarding and spiralling prices, as the desperate public rushed to stock up.
There has to be non-negotiable action on those who overcharged because of huge demand for certain products, whatever they may have been.
In the same way, we must see this chain of overpricing snapped. If the problem begins with the manufacturers, then swoop down on them. If there is a fault further down the chain, then that has to be addressed.
Let no manufacturer or stockist believe they can get away with taking advantage of people who are vulnerable in these times. Get to the root of the problem and tackle it with determination. This is also important so that overcharging does not become a pattern, with those charging more using the pandemic to prey on people, who may be left with a take it or leave it scenario.
Catch up on all the latest Mumbai news, crime news, current affairs, and a complete guide from food to things to do and events across Mumbai. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates.
Mid-Day is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@middayinfomedialtd) and stay updated with the latest news
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe