India’s response to the coronavirus has been abysmal at best – we’ve seen children starving, we’ve seen migrants left to die in the streets, and we’ve consistently seen just how little those in power care for the worst affected and the poor. Large relief packages have been announced to much fanfare, but ground reports have told a different story about their efficacy.   

And now, after everything, there will be an 18% GST levied on all alcohol-based hand sanitisers. That’s right, in the midst of a pandemic, when scores of poor have lost their jobs.

This will be yet another burden on the worst-affected, which in India is always the poor. It’s a shocking move, and people expressed their outrage, and their disgust at such heartlessness. 

It’s safe to say most people are aghast at this ruling, which is the opposite of what needs to be done at a crucial time like this. Higher prices will mean many won’t be able to afford sanitisers, which in turn will contribute to the further spread of the virus.