Undeniably, when there is a spike in the demand for a product, its supplies rise too. However, a sudden spike in the product’s price in a time span of fewer than 6 months, can be denied; something that doesn’t happen very often. But the story of N-95 Mask is related to the above statements.
N-95 Mask is one of the best selling masks in the times of this global Pandemic, yet being sold at an unreasonable price. There has been a sudden increase in the price of the mask in the last four months and there is no news to cap the price.
Government agencies bought these masks at Rs 12.25 including taxes in September 2019, cost them Rs 17.33 in January 2020, Rs 42 by March-end and up to Rs 63 by the middle of May, noticing an increase of over 250% since the beginning of the year. Yet, the price regulator NPPA has decided not to cap the price of N95 masks as it “may disincentivise domestic manufacturing”.
Further, NPPA gave a clarity by claiming that prices had been brought down after its May 21 memo “advising” manufacturers/ importers/suppliers “to maintain parity in the price for nongovernment procurements and to make available the same at reasonable prices”.