Ministry of Textiles has assured to discuss with the Ministry of Finance, Commerce and Health to allow shipment of samples of PPE abroad even as PPE manufacturers wait for the export ban to be lifted.
Vijay Kumar, Additional DGFT (Directorate General of Foreign Trade), said “As of now only medical coveralls are under prohibited list, but non-medical coveralls can be exported which is used in the industry, spas and salons. Non-medical and non-surgical masks of almost all types of fabrics are allowed to be exported freely.”
He further added “DGFT is in touch with the Ministries of Health and Textiles to make further changes in the export policy of masks and PPEs. DGFT will definitely be guided by the advice of both these ministries when we make any change in the export policy.”
Dr. A. Sakthivel, Chairman, AEPC, has time and again urged the Government to lift the export ban on N95 masks, PPE-coveralls and other restricted PPE items saying it is the need of the hour.
“A single mask manufacturing machine can manufacture one lakh pieces per day and we have more than 200 such machines. Therefore, N95 masks should be opened up for exports without any restrictions on quantities,” he said.
The European Commission (EC) has announced Derogation Route during the pandemic allowing a lot of relaxations to the member states. Indian Government can take up with the EC for a similar derogation option for Indian exports at least for a time-bound period. For example, the UK has taken the derogation for almost 1 year.
Dr. SK Sundararaman, Chairman, Indian Technical Textiles Association, suggests that AEPC should talk to Lakeland, Cardinal, 3M, Honeywell – the global giants of PPE. Without their intervention and stepping into India to join hands with the exporters here, we will not be part of the global PPE roadmap.”
Gautam Nair, Executive Committee Member, AEPC, who is also manufacturing PPE, believes that apparel manufacturers cannot look at manufacturing PPE kits as a by-product to be done when you have open capacities available. It needs to transform mindset and facilities as per the requirements of medical textiles.”