The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) of the Russian Federation noted the fact of multiple overpricing of medical masks. The jump in prices was caused by the rush associated with the coronovirus outbreak.
“Multiple retail overpricing for masks in 68 constituent entities of the Russian Federation has all the signs of “economic looting” in conditions of increased demand”, the service said.
It should be noted that several regional representative offices of the antimonopoly service had previously reported on the rise in price of medical masks and even their disappearance from sales due to high demand. But back then the deputy head of the FAS Andrei Tsyganov chose not to spot signs of cartel conspiracy in this situation.
With all the growing public stir in the background, the FAS is forced to reject such statements and does not recognize them as its official position. The authorities speak of the inadmissibility of such situations with overpricing and require punishment for dishonest merchants.
We can only hope that these calls and measures will have effect. Under capitalism, prices for goods and services are not set by the president and prime minister, but by the owners of the means of production. The state apparatus, in fact, cannot seriously affect their fluctuations.
We have repeatedly come across examples of dishonesty of sellers, from the traditional hype around buckwheat prices to oligarchs who try to sell coal at a triple price to those who mine it. The situation with medical masks can be safely attributed to an equally unscrupulous desire to cash in at the expense of people.
No matter how many loud statements the leadership of the country makes, such examples will occur constantly. After all, “economic looting” is the essence of the bourgeois system. As long as the capitalists are in power, the robbery will not stop.