Indian apparel industry plans to scale up PPE kit production, urges govt to lift ban on export

New Delhi [India], June 21 (ANI): Indian Apparel export industry is planning to scale up the production of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits and hold the largest share in the $60 billion global markets. It has also requested the government to lift the ban on the export of PPE kits.

During the pandemic, the industry began to produce PPE kits and took the market from zero units to 8 lakh per day in less than four months.

"We thank Minister of Textiles for motivating the Indian apparel industry to reach production of 8 lakh PPE pieces per day. The entrepreneurial apparel industry under the leadership of Textiles Secretary Ravi Capoor is prepared to play a key role in the global market for PPEs, which is estimated to be more than $60 billion over the next five years," Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) Chairman Dr A Sakthivel said.

As the industry is planning to grow further, the AEPC has requested the government to lift the ban on the export of PPE kits. It has sent letters to the Minister of Commerce and Industry and Minister of Textiles.

"Countries like Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan and others have lifted the ban on PPE exports and are receiving huge orders. We are afraid to lose export markets to our competing countries. The production of PPE is more than sufficient to cater to the needs of the country and can be opened up for exports," Dr Sakthivel said, adding that the US and Europe are the largest potential buyers.

The industry, which was hit hard after the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic, has demonstrated extraordinary enterprise and nimbleness through its ability to rejig large production facilities to manufacture PPEs by re-purposing their production lines amidst a nationwide lockdown that disrupted material, labour and supply chains, he said.

The Embassy of Vietnam in Washington has established a channel of communication with the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Department of Health and Human Services. The US Federal Emergency Management Agency has created an 'air-bridge' to quickly get medical supplies like 2.25 million PPEs exported from Vietnam, he said.

"India is also part of the US 'air bridge' initiative. We should not lose out on an attractive global business opportunity and the need of the hour is to initiate PPE exports. India should consider the economic and political dividends that timely PPE exports will generate in the post COVID era," Dr Sakthivel added. (ANI)