Sanitizer shortage: Govt steps up efforts to ensure supply amid virus fear

Professors and non-teaching staff fill bottles with sanitizer after making it in a chemistry laboratory at Surendranath College in Kolkata. Photo: PTI
The government is taking steps to ensure availability of sanitizers after people started hoarding the product leading to shortages in many areas.

A slew of measures have been taken that include asking states to help scale up manufacturing, ensure easy availability of raw material and also a ban on exports.

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs has written to all states and Union Territories on March 19 asking them to take necessary action to enhance production of sanitizers. These include giving necessary permission for storage of ethanol to sanitizer-making units without any quota restrictions. Moreover, the sanitizer industry should be encouraged to operate in three shifts to enhance production. The distillery industry, too, is encouraged to manufacture sanitizers in bulk.

In a letter to the central government, the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) has said the domestic sugar industry would ensure adequate supply of ethanol, or ENA, in line with the requirement. Through its letter on Wednesday, the ISMA has advised sanitizer manufacturers to directly contact individual sugar mills for their ethanol/ENA requirement.

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