The government and the private sector are stepping up to make personal care, hygiene and sanitation products more affordable for everyone to combat the rapidly spreading coronavirus. The union government capped prices of hand sanitizers to restrict rapid price rise occurred from the sudden rise in demand. Hindustan Unilever reduced the prices of products under its Lifebuoy and Domex brands.
The price of a 200ml hand sanitizer bottle has been capped at Rs100. The consumer affairs minister said that the prices of other pack sizes of hand sanitizers will correspond with the 200ml pack. Also, the prices of 2 ply (surgical) mask and 3 ply (surgical) mask are to be capped at Rs8 and Rs10 respectively. The government in a release said the limits on prices will be in force till June 30.
Earlier March, sanitizers and masks were declared “essential commodities” by the government for preventing hoarding and price manipulation of such goods. Recently, the government also placed price limits on alcohols used in making hand sanitizers.
In a separate announcement, Hindustan Unilever said to cut prices of personal care and home hygiene brands by 15%.
The company has ramped up the production of reduced-priced products and they will soon be available in the market.
Earlier this year, HUL mitigated rising input costs by increasing prices of its soap brands including Lux, Lifebuoy, Dove, Hamas, Liril and Pears by 5% to 6%.
To meet the current demand in the market, HUL has ramped up the production of Lifebuoy sanitizers, Lifebuoy-hand wash liquid, and Domex floor cleaners.
The company said to pledge Rs100 crore towards fighting coronavirus in India.
HUL has also announced to donate 20 million pieces of Lifebuoy soaps in the next few months to some particular sections of the society. The company will partner with medical institutions providing them with free supplies of sanitation and hygiene products.
The company will also donate? 10 crores for upgrading the health care facilities in testing centres.
The outbreak of coronavirus has spurred demand for personal hygiene and germ-killing products such as soap and sanitizers making the demand exceeding supply.
The total count of those affected by the deadly virus in India is 244. It has claimed five lives so far in the country. The government of India has urged all the citizens to stay indoors on 22 March.