Centre has lifted the ban on export of personal protective equipment (PPE) but has put it under quantitative restrictions as shipments can not exceed 50 lakh units per month.

“Boosting Make in India exports, Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) medical coveralls for COVID-19 have been allowed with a monthly export quota of 50 lakh,” tweeted Union Minister Piyush Goyal.

According to a notification by Directorate General of Foreign Trade, PPE medical coveralls for COVID-19 have been moved to the ‘restricted’ list for exports from the ‘prohibited’ list. It, however, said that all items that are part of PPE kits, however, continue to be prohibited from exports.

The export of PPE kits was prohibited by the government to meet the domestic demand and avoid supply crunch in the country. Industry has been seeking the lifting of the ban in order to cater to the global demand.

Urging the government to lift the ban on exports, the Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) had recently said that several countries, like Bangladesh, Indonesia and Pakistan, have lifted ban on PPE exports and are receiving huge orders.

“We are afraid to lose export markets to competing countries. The production of PPEs is more than sufficient to cater to the domestic needs and can be opened for exports,” said AEPC Chairman A. Sakthivel.

The frontline workers wear the protective gears while working in a high-risk area, such as the emergency department or those managing patients with severe acute respiratory infection. They should garb themselves in the full complement of PPE – N-95 mask, coverall, goggles, nitrile examination gloves and shoe cover, to save them from any exposure to the virus, according to health ministry.

Meanwhile, on Sunday PM Modi had also touched upon his call for ‘Vocal for Local’ emphasising on the need of being self-reliant, in his monthly radio programme ‘Mann ki Baat’.

He said, ‘People from all over India are writing, reiterating their support to the movement to make India self-reliant. Being vocal about local is a great service to the nation,” adding that “there is a new and strong opportunity for our generation and our start-ups.”