Q) The desperate need for vital medical supplies has paved the way for their black marketing. In this context, discuss the various implications that black marketing can have during the pandemic and suggest measures to deal with them. 

Why this Question?

Issue of current importance. 

Key demand of the Question 

Problems arising out of black marketing of vital medical supplies and measures to deal with them. 


Discuss- back up the answer by carefully selected evidence to make a case for and against an argument, or point out the advantages and disadvantages of the given context and finally arrive at a conclusion.


Mention what is black marketing and how it is currently rising.


In the first part, mention the problems due to black marketing of essential medical supplies. 

In the next part, suggest measures that can be taken.


Conclude with a way forward. 

Model Answer


The pandemic has had a profound impact on access to health care services and has been made more disruptive by the parallel clandestine market. Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, the problems faced have only been exacerbated by the institutional lack of necessary supplies like medicines, oxygen, refilling of oxygen cylinders and unavailability of hospital beds. However, a few people use such situations to maximise their own profits by hoarding the vital supplies and selling them in the black market.

What happens due to the black marketing?

  • Extra and useless expenditure is made by the people that drains them financially.
  • A huge burden is on the poor who are mostly not able to pay for the expenditures pushing them into bad debts.
  • Unequal access to healthcare services to different strata of people.
  • Trust of people in the governance process and the government is lost.

Measures that need to be taken

  • Strict implementation of the Prevention of Black Marketing & Maintenance of Supplies of Essential Commodities Act, 1980, enacted with an objective to allow Central and State governments to pass orders to detain persons who seek to control the production, supply or distribution of any commodity which is an essential commodity as defined under the Essential Commodities Act of 1955.
  • Increasing the supply of the vital medical supplies.
  • Strict monitoring measures in the hospitals as well as the markets of the essential supplies.
  • There is a need to accelerate the establishment of a network HWCs, for this extra funding through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) can be mobilised.
  • Appropriate orders/directions should be issued fixing/capping MRP of all necessary medicines and equipment at the earliest possible.

The government cannot let the pandemic worsen due to issues like hoarding and black marketing. A tough stance like the Green Revolution to deal with shortage of food crops is thus required to deal with the current issue. The government has to ensure that the prevalent law is appropriately enforced and wherever there exists a void in the price control mechanism, the same should be taken care of at the earliest.