Govt allows export of Covid-19 PPEs; monthly quota fixed at 50 mn units

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New Delhi: The Central government on Monday allowed the export of five million personal protective (PPE) equipment coveralls per month after a ban since the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak.

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DFGT) in its order stated that “PPE coveralls for Covid-19 export are now restricted for export. A monthly quota of five million has been fixed for issuance of export licences to eligible applicants to export medical coveralls.”

However, masks, medical goggles; nitrile rubber, or NBR, gloves; and face shields remain prohibited for export in accordance with the DGFT order issued on June 22.

HT had reported that the Centre was considering the export for the medical overalls since the industry had reached surplus production levels.

But, the government officials had also said that there would be a quantitative ban on the export of the PPE items to ensure that the country doesn’t suffer from any shortage of it.

India was producing one crore PPE units per month as per the Central government’s specifications to fight the viral outbreak.

The Central government had placed an order for 2.2 crore PPE units in March to meet the demand for healthcare workers.

Earlier, the government had also faced severe criticism for not being able to provide enough coveralls for frontline workers battling the pandemic.

“It’s a very encouraging move by the government, as the country seeks to capture the global market,” said Dr. Sundamram, chairman, Indian Technical Textile Association (ITTA).

However, not all are convinced that the move is comparable to the losses that the industry has faced due to the pandemic.

“The quantum of export is low,” said a member of one of the textile associations, requesting anonymity.

“Existing PPE exporters stand to gain, as the new entrants will struggle for certifications for at least the next five months,” he said while comparing the gains made by the quantum of exports like a “drop in the ocean”.

“There has been a drastic fall in garment sales. The export of PPE units won’t be able to offset the mounting losses,” he added.

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