HC notice to Centre, Delhi govt on plea against restrictions on export of PPE kits, face masks

New Delhi [India], June 24 (ANI): Delhi High Court has issued notice to Centre and Delhi government on a plea challenging the restrictions imposed by the Central government on the export of Personal protective equipment (PPE) kits and face masks amid COVID-19 crisis.

A bench of Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva on Tuesday sought a response from the Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Commerce, Directorate General of Foreign Trade and Delhi government, and slated the matter for further hearing on July 10.

The petition, filed by Thompson Press Services through its proprietor, claimed that the export restrictions imposed by the Central government have caused immense hardship to the labour and loss of revenue to the companies.

Additional Solicitor General Maninder Acharya, appearing for the respondents, submitted that the ban on the export of the PPE kits and masks has been imposed to prevent any shortage of the same within the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Acharya said that as per her instructions there is no dearth of buyers, however, the petitioner and other similarly situated manufacturers are wanting to export for making financial gains and not for the reason that there is any shortage of demand within the country.

The petition claimed that allowing the export of PPE kits would boost the national economy, help in revival of the MSME sector, and would also contribute to India's friendly relations with several foreign countries.

It also said that since the government has already lifted the ban on the export of "non-surgical masks and kits" and various other masks to foreign countries on May 16, 2020, the ban on 3-layer surgical is wholly unreasonable and untenable.

It is an extremely small-scale industry, having limited business in the manufacture and export of disposable face masks and covers all PPE Kits, which are highly essential in the current situation of the outbreak of COVID-19, the plea said. (ANI)