Centre allows export of Covid-19 PPE medical coveralls

Centre allows export of Covid-19 PPE medical coveralls; monthly quota fixed at 50 lakh units

Representative image. Credit: AFP Photo

The government on Monday lifted the ban on the export of personal protection equipment, a move that was welcomed by domestic manufacturers who had ramped up production leading to a glut.

However, the government has placed quantitative restrictions on the exports by placing a cap of 50 lakh PPE kits per month.

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“A monthly quota of 50 lakh PPE medical coverall for Covid-19 units has been fixed for issuance of export licenses to the eligible applicants,” read a notification issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade.

In the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak, the government had encouraged domestic production of PPE kits that include coveralls, N-95 masks and gloves, to meet the growing demand, but put a complete ban on exports.

“We welcome the lifting of the export ban,” Karan Bose, Managing Director, Hula Global, a Noida-based apparel manufacturing firm that had forayed into PPE manufacture responding to the government call.

However, the export ban that was imposed led to the loss of international business for the supply of PPEs to countries such as the UK, Canada, the US, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Iran.

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Bose wanted the government to reconsider the cap on the export of 50 lakh PPE kits per month as most of the manufacturers were having huge stocks due to overproduction.

“With aggressive production and entry of local players in the segment, most of the players reached production surplus and the move will definitely help in channelizing the production”, said Vivek Tiwari, CEO & Founder, Medikabazaar.

Bose also wanted the government to formulate guidelines for different categories of PPEs and verify the quality of coveralls manufactured in the country.