Amid the rising number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country, some sellers on online shopping platforms like Flipkart are quoting 16 times the maximum retail price (MRP) on hand sanitizers.
According to several tweeples, a 30 ml bottle of Himalaya PureHands sanitizer, which originally costs about ₹60 was being sold by a seller namely SuperRetails at ₹999, approximately 16 times above the MRP.
The allegation comes in the wake of health experts advising people to keep their hands clean and use hand sanitizers or water-based hand wash liquids to help reduce the risk of contracting the COVID-19.
Responding to the complaints of its customers about the high prices during the time of need, Flipkart on its help centre said, “You could see different prices for the same product, as it could be listed by many sellers.”
“Is this fair to sell 30 ml of hand sanitizer at 999 at the need of the hour for people?” a Twitter user Chaitra said.
“Companies are actually working hard to help people by selling a 30 ml Hand Sanitizer for only Rs 999 and mind that that’s with a discount of Re 1. Please do something for those who are selling products over the MRP price,” tweeted Himanshu Kumar while tagging Flipkart.
The Himalaya Drug Company tweeted that it “will take action against those who are responsible for this”, adding that they have not increased the rates of the hand sanitizers and the third-party sellers have illegally done the deed.
“This is to clarify that we have not increased the rates of our PureHands Hand Sanitizers. The rates of our sanitizers have been illegally increased by unauthorised third-party sellers. We are not associated with these unscrupulous sellers in any way. These are illegal practices and must be dealt with firmly in accordance with law,” Himalaya tweeted.
— Himalaya India (@HimalayaIndia) March 6, 2020
With the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases touching 40 in India, the panic buying of hand sanitizers, masks and other disinfectant liquids have led to pharmacies and neighbourhood general stores reportedly running out of the products.