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Coronavirus | Haryana to crack down on black marketing of masks, hand sanitisers

Officials have been asked to inspect pharmacies, chemists and drug wholesalers to ensure availability of products at reasonable prices.  

After the Central government has declared masks and hand sanitisers as essential commodities, the Haryana government has ordered its officials to carry out operations against speculators and those involved in black marketing and over pricing amid the COVID-19 scare.

The director of State Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs has asked the district food supplies controllers (DFSCs) to inspect pharmacies, chemists and drug wholesalers to ensure availability of products at reasonable prices.

“As district head of consumer affairs, the DFSCs and their subordinate inspection staff shall visit chemist shops, pharmacies and drug wholesalers to check their stock of masks and hand sanitisers. Hoarding and refusal to dispense shall be reported and acted against,” said the order.

The order said the officials should check if excessive price was being levied on the items and examine if supply to chemists from manufactures had been reduced without any reason. The officials should also ensure increased availability of both the items to the general public at reasonable price below the maximum retail price, it added.

Notably, the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution has regulated the production, quality, distribution, logistics of masks (2ply & 3 ply surgical masks, N95 masks) and hand sanitisers for COVID-19 management. Both masks and hand sanitisers have been brought under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, empowering States to regulate production, distribution and prices and also crackdown on hoarding and black marketing.

Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala will be monitoring the compliance of the orders.

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Union Territory Chandigarh on Monday decided to put a ban on gathering of more than 100 people in the city. Besides, cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, pubs, spa-centres, video gaming centres, shopping malls and coaching centres will also be closed till March 31.

The closure won’t apply to groceries and medicine shops to enable people to meet their essential needs, said an official statement.

The decisions were taken at a meeting of top officials, chaired by UT Administrator and Punjab Governor V.P. Singh Badnore here.


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Printable version | Jun 14, 2021 12:16:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-haryana-to-crack-down-on-black-marketing-of-masks-hand-sanitisers/article31083796.ece

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