The Centre on Wednesday told the Parliament that it has removed restrictions on the export of several medical supplies, including personal protective equipment coveralls, face masks, shields and sanitisers, as their domestic production had been increased amid the coronavirus crisis.

Union Minister of Commerce Piyush Goyal, in his written reply in the Lok Sabha, said that the government had prohibited the exports to ensure sufficient domestic availability but the restrictions had been relaxed with regular assessment of surplus and production capacity.

Goyal told the Lok Sabha that India had been largely dependent on imported PPE coveralls before March. “The export ban on PPE Coveralls was removed when the domestic production of PPE Coveralls subsequently reached 1.5 crore units per month,” he said.

The minister said that the production of hand sanitisers had been similarly increased. “The availability of Alcohol based Hand Sanitizers was 10 lakh litres per annum,” he said. “This manufacturing capacity subsequently increased to 38 Lakh litres per day, enabling the prohibition on the export of Alcohol based hand sanitizers (except when exported in containers with dispenser pumps) to be removed.”

He added: “Ventilators production in country, which was negligible prior to January 2020, was ramped up to enable export of domestically manufactured ventilators today.”

The Centre had allowed the export of medical coveralls in June too but had set a monthly quota limit of 50 lakh units. The government had, however, retained the ban on export of other PPE kit components like goggles, face shield masks and gloves. In March, the Centre had banned exports of a host of medical equipment, including sanitisers, ventilators and surgical masks.

India’s coronavirus count rose to 50,20,359 on Wednesday as it reported 90,123 new cases in 24 hours. The toll jumped by 1,290 to 82,066. As many as 39,42,360 people in the country have recovered from the infection.

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