Centre allows ‘restricted’ exports of PPE coveralls

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on June 29, 2020

PPE producers want government to allow exports of N-95 masks as well

The Centre has removed the prohibition on the export of medical coveralls for Covid-19, allowing up to 50 lakh units to be exported every month against licences issued by the government.

While the move is in response to demands made by local producers of personal protection equipment (PPE) who had assured the government of surplus capacities, the domestic industry says that exports of N-95 masks, too, should be allowed.

As per a notification issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) on Monday, PPE medical coveralls have been shifted to the restricted category from the prohibited category. “A monthly quote of 50 lakh PPE medical coveralls for Covid-19 units has been fixed for issuance of export licences to the eligible per the criteria to be separately issued in a Trade Notice,” the notification stated.

All items that are part of PPE kits and listed in the earlier notifications continue to remain “prohibited” for export, whether exported as individual items or as part of PPE kits, it added. The monthly quota will not be applicable on these items.

Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) Chairman A Sakthivel on Monday thanked the government for lifting the ban on PPE exports. The monthly quota of 50 lakh will not only help health workers across the world but also support the revival of the apparel industry in the country, he said.

“This opens the entire global market for our domestic players who were fast enough to seize this opportunity of producing and supplying PPE kits as the world struggles to control the coronavirus pandemic,” said Sakthivel in an official release. The production of PPE is more than sufficient to cater to the needs of the country, the statement added.

The government should soon extend the export opportunity for N-95 masks as well, Sakthivel said, adding that the size of the global market for PPEs is more than $60 billion over the next five years.

Global competition

“India is in competition with countries like Bangladesh, Indonesia and Pakistan, as they have lifted the ban on PPE exports and are receiving huge orders from large buyers in the US and Europe,” he said.

From zero production of PPEs early March, the country now produces more than 8 lakh pieces per day — the second largest producing country in the world, as per AEPC figures.

Published on June 29, 2020

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