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AEPC seeks lifting of export ban on PPE kits as production hits 8 lakh units per day

New Delhi, June 21 (PTI) Indian apparel export industry body AEPC on Sunday urged the government to lift the ban on exports of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits as its production has reached 8 lakh units per day.

Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) Chairman A Sakthivel said huge export opportunities exists for domestic players in the global PPE kit market.

'Domestic exporters are prepared to play a key role in the global market for PPEs, which is estimated to be more than USD 60 billion over the next five years. The AEPC has requested the government to lift the ban on export of PPE kits,' he said in a statement.

The industry, which was hit hard after the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic, had rejigged 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.

Countries like Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan and others have lifted the ban on PPE exports and are receiving huge orders, he added.

'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,' Sakthivel said, adding that the US and Europe are the largest potential buyers.

He claimed that Pakistan has received USD 100 million export orders last week which is likely to go up to USD 500 million.

Similarly, Bangladesh has also aggressively protected global business from countries such as the US, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Kuwait while tackling the pandemic, he said.

'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,' Sakthivel added. PTI RR RVK