Govt fixes MRP of 200 ml hand sanitiser bottle at Rs 100

hand sanitiser use Children at a school in Mumbai using a hand sanitiser | Amey Mansabdar

Cracking down heavily on price-gouging shops and e-tailers amid the coronavirus outbreak, the Union government has capped the prices of hand sanitisers and face masks.

Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said in a tweet that price of a 200 ml bottle of hand sanitiser cannot be more than Rs 100 and masks cannot be sold for more than Rs 10 apiece. The maximum retail prices (MRP) fixed for these products will be applicable throughout the country till June 30, 2020.

The Union minister said, "The retail price of a 200 ml bottle of hand sanitizer will not exceed Rs 100. Other sizes of bottles will also be priced in the same proportion. The prices will be applicable till June 30, 2020."

The government has acted on complaints that shops and online business are overcharging due to high demand in the wake of the coronavirus threat. The measures are expected to make hygiene and sanitation products more affordable to the public.

Earlier this month, the government had declared sanitisers and masks “essential commodities" to prevent hoarding and price manipulation of such goods.

Alcohols used in making hand sanitisers have also been brought under price control.

Meanwhile, Hindustan Unilever (HUL) said it is pledging Rs 100 crore towards the efforts undertaken by the government in fighting coronavirus pandemic in the country.

HUL announced that it would partner up with medical institutions to distribute 20 million pieces of Lifebuoy soaps free to the needy people.

The company also offered Rs 10 crore to upgrade the health care facilities in hospitals. HUL will cut down prices of its personal care and home hygiene brands by 15 per cent.

“In public interest, HUL is reducing the prices of Lifebuoy sanitisers, Lifebuoy liquid hand-wash and Domex floor cleaners by 15%. We are commencing production of these reduced priced products immediately and these will be available in the market in the next few weeks," the company said in a press statement.

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