Tuesday, 31st March, 2020


Condom companies threaten to make smaller condoms if govt caps price

12, Feb 2014 By Ashutosh Sinha

Policymakers in Delhi have gone in a huddle after the rising prices of premium condoms have caused a revolt among the youth.

Getting beyond reach

Policymakers, who have categorised condoms as ‘essential items’ are now considering ways in which the rising prices of the all too essential product can be controlled. At a meeting in Delhi, attended by leading condom manufacturers, a number of ideas were mooted for the government to consider. Manufacturers of the condom also used the opportunity to explain to the government the difficulties they are facing because of rising input costs.

With Valentine’s Day round the corner, industry players are not amused that a needless controversy has taken birth at a time like this. The manufacturers are up in arms and their message to the government is clear. The industry wants the government to pop a pill or two because they are amused at the ability of the policymakers to get pregnant with such ideas.

Faking News, with its ears to the ground, managed to hear a part of the conversation that happened insider the power corridors in Delhi that could well decide whether the rate of growth of India’s population could be curbed or not.

Here’s a part of the exchange:

“Since the price of condoms is being capped, we will not be able to market some of the premium condoms at that price. So, unfortunately, the size of the condoms that we sell will have to be shorter,” one of the companies explained the long and short of the business to the official.

The government official was not amused. “If the companies were insistent on higher prices being allowed, I will recommend import of condoms in huge numbers that could deflate the market for the manufacturers”, he said, giving a mouthful to the company representatives.

“We are caught between a rock and a hard place”, the representative of another company said, tongue firmly in cheek. “We find the condoms are seeing brisk sales, despite higher prices. At the same time, they are essential.”

“Instead of capping the price, the government should have offered minimum support price for our products”, another manufacturer said. “Just like farmers, young couples will also benefit with the policy support”, he added.

That did not cut much ice with the government officials. And the heat of the debate carried on.

“Inflation is already eating into the average person’s life. We cannot add condoms to the list of inflationary items for the common man”, another government official reasoned with the companies.

The government is justifying its policy intervention, claiming that users of the product are having a hard time. But since the government, too, has been getting a mouthful, it has refrained from saying anything. The youth, who are being seen as a big segment of voters are the most vocal critics of the rising prices.