Govt invokes Disaster Management Act to ensure price regulation of masks, hand sanitisers, gloves

New Delhi [India], Mar 14 (ANI): The central government on Friday invoked the Disaster Management Act 2005 to allow the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) to regulate the availability and prices of surgical and protective masks, hand sanitisers and gloves amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

"In pursuance of directions conveyed by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) vide order dated March 13 under clause (I) of sub-section (2) of section 10 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, the NPPA has been mandated to regulate the availability and prices of surgical and protective masks, hand sanitisers and gloves," an official statement said.

Taking cognisance of reports about non-availability and black marketing of surgical and protective masks, hand sanitisers and gloves, the authority had requested the MoHFW to notify these items as drugs to enable the NPPA to regulate their availability and prices.

"Accordingly, NPPA has directed to all state/UT governments, in the public interest, in order to deal with the situation arising out of COVID-19, to take necessary steps to ensure sufficient availability of surgical and protective masks, hand sanitisers and gloves at prices not exceeding the maximum retail prices (MRP) printed on the pack size," the statement said.

It also said that the governments of states and UTs have also been directed to monitor the production and distribution of items by the manufacturers, importers, stockists and retailers and ensure that hoarding, black marketing and profiteering may not happen. (ANI)