Govt Extends Validity Of Licences Of Distilleries & Other Units To Manufacture Hand Sanitizer Till Dec 2022

Mumbai : In a bid to ensure sufficient availability of hand sanitizer at reasonable price in the domestic market, Union ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution has directed all state governments and Union territory administrators to issue necessary directions to the drug controllers to extend the necessary permissions to distilleries and other units manufacturing hand-sanitizer for one more year till December 31, 2022.

The validity of licences issued to distilleries and other units to manufacture hand-sanitizer is going to expire on December 31, 2021.

The department of food and public distribution under the ministry in a letter on March 21, 2020 requested state governments and Union territory administrations to take appropriate measures to ensure the adequate availability of ethyl alcohol, (ethanol) to the manufacturers of hand sanitizer, an essential material in the fight against Covid-19.

Responding to the request of the department and keeping in view the vital role of hand sanitizer in the fight against Covid-19, most of the state governments and UT administrators issued necessary licenses to distilleries and other units for production of hand sanitizer.

Due to these efforts, the production capacity of hand sanitizer could be enhanced to around 30 lakh litre per day and more than 5 crore litre of hand sanitizer could be produced. Also the export of hand sanitizer has been allowed and now India is exporting sanitizer to other countries.

Licences were initially issued for a short period of time. They expired on June 30, 2020. The department extended validity of the licences from June 30, 2020 to December 31, 2020 which was further extended to December 31, 2021.

The Covid pandemic is not over yet and the role of hand sanitizer will continue to be important in the fight against Covid. In a bid to ensure adequate availability of hand sanitizer at reasonable price in the domestic market, the department has written to chief secretaries of states and administrators of UTs asking them to issue necessary directions to the drug controllers/competent authorities in their state/UT to extend the necessary permissions to distilleries and other units manufacturing hand-sanitizer for one more year beyond December 31, 2021 i.e. December 31, 2022, stated Subodh Kumar Singh, joint secretary (sugar and administration), ministry of consumer affairs, food & public distribution.

As the economy is gradually opening up, the demand for hand sanitizer is expected to continue to grow in the coming days both for the domestic and international market. Keeping in view the role of hand-sanitizer in this long and arduous fight against the pandemic, we have appealed to states and UTs to instruct drugs controllers to extend validity of such licences for one more year, said Singh.

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