New Delhi, May 12
Beijing and New Delhi are now sparring over the hike in prices of medical devices as well as cargo flight rates as Indian entrepreneurs scramble to get urgently needed supplies from China.
India’s envoy in Hong Kong Priyanka Chauhan has said price instability of products in China and transport disruptions had affected India’s attempt to deal with the second Covid wave.
“Our expectation is that the supply chain should remain open and product prices should remain stable,” she said in an interview.
Taking Beijing’s side, state-owned media house Global Times said Chinese oxygen concentrator suppliers are “upset and saddened by price-gouging of anti-virus devices such as theirs’’ in the Indian market.
“Many Chinese producers have exported oxygen making items to India at below-market prices by working extra shifts for timely delivery, even during the recent May Day holiday, to ensure the much-needed goods are delivered to those who badly need them,” complained the Global Times.
Government-to-government ties between India and China have been frosty. During a conversation with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi last month, S Jaishankar walked around a Chinese offer to offer aid. Instead, he wanted Beijing to address the supply disruptions for commercially sourced oxygen concentrators and other medical supplies from China.
Reports say the demand from India has led to the doubling of prices as well as high cargo rates. “Even if there is a little bit of supply demand pressure, there has to be some stability and predictability to product prices. And there has to be a sense of governmental level support and efforts,” said Chauhan. — TNS
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