23:07 GMT06 August 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak in India in April, the country ordered the import of 15 million personal protective equipment (PPE) kits, including gowns and masks, from China. But India has now ramped up domestic production and is ready to begin exporting kits. 

    India has allowed exports of personal protective equipment (PPEs), while capping the export limit at five million units per month.

    The Director General of Foreign Trade on Monday issued a notification on Monday, saying that PPE is being moved from the "Prohibited" category to the "Restricted" category.

     "A monthly quota of 5 million PPE coveralls for Covid-19 has been fixed for issuance of export licences to the eligible applicants to export PPE medical coveralls", said the Directorate General of Foreign Trade.

    India's Minister for Micro, Small and Medium enterprises Nitin Gadkari said that India, which was dependent on China for PPE kits in March, is now self sufficient in PPE.  

    "The country has ramped up its capacity to produce PPE kits in the last two months. While we were importing PPE in March we manufacture half a million kits daily now", he added.

    Earlier this month, the MSME ministry urged the commerce ministry to allow exports of PPE kits. 

    A once insolvent company Alok Industries, which was taken over by industrialist Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries, is involved in the mass scale production of the PPE, as the number of Covid-19 infection is still growing in the country. The company is producing 100,000 PPE kits daily from its manufacturing facility in Gujarat.

    The mass production of PPE kits in India has also brought down the cost per item with PPE produced by Alok Industries costing INR 650 ($8.60) a piece against an import price of INR 2,000 ($26.60). 

     

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    medical use, import, pandemic, COVID-19, India
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