30 Jan 2020  (782 Views)
Distribution of scarce products

The recent scare from the Wuhan virus has caused a large spurt of purchase of face masks. Many stores claimed to be out of stock. We do not know if this is true, or the stores are hoarding the items or offering them for sale in the black market at a higher price.

Some people who bought a large supply of the mask re-offered them for sale at online websites at 10 or 100 times of the purchase price. Those who did not get the face masks complained about the poor distribution system. 

What is the solution?

During war time, food supplies are scare. They are distributed using a coupon system. Each family is allocated the coupons to allow them to buy the food at controlled prices. 

We can use the electronic version of the coupon system. Each family, identified by the NRIC of a family member is allotted a coupon to buy a fixed number of face masks at the controlled prices. They have to show their NRIC to buy these controlled items. On purchase, the coupon is marked. They cannot buy more than their allocation.

We need to introduce the coupon system now. For the time being, it is used for the distribution of face masks. In the future, it may be necessary to control the distribution of food or water.

PM Lee - I hope you are listening. 

Tan Kin Lian 

Vote - should we build a system to distribute scare items using an e-coupon system?


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