There is a huge sigh of relief for non-medical mask manufacturers of India as the Government has finally lifted the ban which was previously enforced on its export.
According to a press release of Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, India has amended the policy to allow manufacturers the export of non-medical/non-surgical masks of all types – cotton, silk, wool and knitted.
However, the Ministry has also made it clear that all other masks falling under any ITC HS Codes will continue to remain prohibited for exports.
India has been receiving non-medical mask order enquiries from buyers located all across the world since a long time; however, the manufacturers couldn’t take the queries forward due to the ban.
A few days ago, Indian Texpreneurs Federation (ITF), Coimbatore told Apparel Resources that the organisation has formally appealed to the Government to lift the ban from exporting the non-surgical masks as the member companies of ITF have immediate non-surgical mask order inquiries worth Rs. 300 crore (US $ 40 million) and the estimated figure by the end of May ’20 can surge up to Rs. 4,000 crore (US $ 530 million).
The Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) says, as the ban is lifted now, the export of non-medical masks from India can reach to US $ 1 billion (Rs. 7,600 crore) in next 3 months.
Welcoming the export policy amendment, Dr. A Sakthivel, Chairman, AEPC, commented ‘I sincerely thank our PM Narendra Modi; Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and Textile Minister Smriti Irani for amending the export policy of masks. I thank the DGFT as well for bringing out this notification, which is a very timely and opportune amendment for the apparel exporting industry.”
In a joint press note, Raja Shanmugham, President, Tirupur Exporters’ Association (TEA) and Prabhu Dhamodharan, Convenor, ITF have thanked Ministry of Textiles and Ministry of Commerce and Industry for allowing exports of non-surgical masks. “This will help the sector to explore the immediate potential and also India can establish a space in this big potential and need of the hour product,” stated Raja and Prabhu jointly.
TEA and ITF have now urged all the manufacturing units in Tamil Nadu to focus on new and unique designs to produce functional and fashionable masks to capitalise the new opportunities in the mask exports.
Endorsing the same, Chandra Bhan Kataria, Founder, KatBro Corporation, Greater Noida told Apparel Resources that performance-based masks made up with breathable cotton fabric is what the users are looking forward. “Till now, we weren’t sure if export ban would allow any of the manufacturers to think in this direction so we couldn’t approach the overseas buyers despite knowing they are searching for mask manufacturers in India. This step taken by the Government is really commendable and now we will explore potential export markets for our unique cotton knitted masks,” said Chandra Bhan.
As a responsible and dedicated media for fashion business, Apparel Resources too used all its social media handles to appeal to the Indian Government to lift the ban on non-surgical masks for the industry’s betterment in this tough time.