Last Updated on June 17, 2020 by The Health Master
With an aim to ensure availability of hand sanitisers in the country, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Government of India has requested the drug controlling authorities in States and other competent authorities to further extend short term manufacturing licenses issued to distilleries and other units involved in manufacturing of hand sanitisers up to December 31, 2020.
The letter issued by the Department of Food and Public Distribution informed that as the economy is gradually opening up, the demand for hand sanitisers is expected to grow in the near future, both for domestic as well as international markets. Therefore, keeping in view, the role of hand sanitisers in this long and arduous fight against the pandemic, it is requested to extend the necessary permission to distilleries and other units involved in manufacturing hand sanitisers.
The Ministry has also looked into the affordability aspect and the Department of Food and Public Distribution has also extended the fix on retail prices of hand sanitisers up to December 31, 2020.
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Narendra Ahooja, State Drug Controller, Haryana, said, “The Haryana FDA welcomes the decision to extend both, price regulation and validity of permission issued by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Government of India. These decisions will help to ensure quality hand sanitisers at fixed prices and also help in meeting the demand.” During the COVID-19 crisis and nationwide lockdown, the Haryana FDA had issued 18 manufacturing licences to distilleries.
Pradeep Mattu, Joint Commissioner, Food and Drugs Administration, Punjab informed, “Although Punjab has around 60-70 distilleries, only three to four of them applied and considering the situation, we issued the manufacturing licenses. However, we will be examining the state’s requirements for hand sanitisers and based on the requirements, we will decide whether to extend manufacturing licences to distilleries and others or not.”
Dr TK Rai, Director, Drug Controllers Organisation, Sikkim said, “In March, the State did not have a single hand sanitiser manufacturer, but now the state has the capacity to manufacture hand sanitisers in surplus.” He also informed that in the early stage of the licence issuing process, they had not fixed the validity of the licenses, but later the validity instructions were defined.
“We were waiting for instructions from the authority on this, now it is up to the manufacturers to seek for further extension. With an increase of COVID-19 positive cases in the State, as migrants are returning, there is a sudden rise in the demand for hand sanitisers. This move will ensure product availability in the market,” he added. The Sikkim FDA granted four manufacturing licences to distilleries.
Sunil Kumar, Vice President, Piccadilly Sugar and Allied Industries, Rewari, said, “We appreciate the government’s move of extending the manufacturing licences for a further six months. Although we would like to continue making hand sanitisers in the future too, we will follow the given instructions of government authorities.”