In a major move, the Central Government has lifted the ban on export of key Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) and formulations made from them.

In a notification, the Director General of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Commence & Industry has amended the Notification 50 dated March 3, 2020 which prohibited exports of 12 key APIs and Vitamins and formulations made out of them and made them `free' to be exported.

The products that are now eligible to be exported include Tinidazole, metronidazole, Acyclovir, Vitamins B1, B6, B12, Progesterone, Chloramphenicol, Erythromycin salts, ornidazole and formations made out of these products .

The exports of these drugs were banned in March in the wake of Covid-19 outbreak and supply disruptions from China. The move was aimed at ensuring no paucity of key APIs for India.

However, the Chinese manufactures have resumed the supply of raw materials to India about a couple of weeks ago.

The Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council (Pharmexcil) on the behalf of its members also appealed to the Centre to remove the ban as it could harm the interest of Indian exporters.

With the removal of the ban, the exports are likely to increase significantly. The Covid-19 crisis, the ban on exports and the national lockdown have hit Indian pharma exports to the tune of $1.5 billion in the month of March as indicated by Pharmexcil data.