Kozhikode

Crackdown on dealers charging exorbitant rates for pulse oximeters

The Department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs is continuing its crackdown on wholesale and retail dealers of surgical equipment based on complaints that many retailers in the district are charging exorbitant rates for pulse oximeters. Officials from the Vadakara taluk supply office headed an inspection on Monday in which several dealers were warned for selling the device at nearly double the price at which they got it from suppliers.

Pulse oximeter, used to record the amount of oxygen in blood, is a key equipment in COVID-19 treatment as patients often experience breathing problems. With the second wave of COVID-19, the price of pulse oximeter, which was around ₹900 earlier, has shot up to ₹2,000 in some places.

“We have not received any complaints though the taluk supply offices across the district have a standing order to conduct such inspections if they received a complaint,” said Kumari Latha V., Senior Superintendent at the District Supply Office in Kozhikode.

The inspection squad in Vadakara led by Taluk Supply Officer T.C. Sajeevan found that a wholesale dealer was charging ₹1,400 per piece for pulse oximeters which he had bought for ₹986. He was warned against continuing the practice and was directed to sell the remaining stock for not more than ₹1,100 per piece.

The squad also found products that did not bear any brand name or maximum retail price on them. Meanwhile, there was not enough stock in many retail shops. The squad asked dealers to stock up as fast as possible. The retailers complained that the distributors were exploiting the situation and had hiked prices.

Ms. Latha said carrying out similar inspections had become a hurdle in most taluks due to the non-availability of vehicles. “Since the onset of COVID-19, we have been trying to check the prices of masks, vegetables and groceries in the open market,” she said.


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Printable version | Jun 22, 2021 11:56:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/crackdown-on-dealers-charging-exorbitant-rates-for-pulse-oximeters/article34543090.ece

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