The mask manufacturers of India are demanding lifting of ban on the surgical masks, especially the three-ply masks, two days after the lifting ban on PPE suit export by the central government.
Due to entry of large number of manufacturers in India, there are a huge number of unsold masks which causes huge fall in the rates of masks.
According to Dinesh Kalra, president of Ludhiana Business Forums, in the wake of the lockdown, most clothing manufacturers in India began making three-ply masks as an alternative to surviving this turbulent time. However the entry of many more players has made this item unobtrusive and due to oversupply, rates have dropped. Now, they are facing another big problem of unsold stock worth millions of rupees that every manufacturer has. The only solution to this problem is to allow surplus exports. The government should take an immediate decision. There is no harm in allowing the export of at least three-ply masks under the quota system.
Harish Kairpal, finance secretary of Knitwear Club and manufacturer of masks and PPE suits said, “In the last one month, hundreds of new businessmen entered this field. The three-ply masks, which were earlier sold to wholesalers for Rs 6 now got no buyers even at half their rate”
Dozens of manufacturers have already called for it to drop as a result of the rate cut, but they also have a huge amount of unsold stock. Considering the situation, there is no other option but to export them to other countries. We are already getting offers at better rates outside India, Kairpal opined.
Ashwani Garg, a N95 mask manufacturer from Ludhiana urges that government should allow export of surgical mask as allowed export of PPE suit even if putting any kind of restrictions or guidelines for systematic export of mask. This will ease the pressure on manufacturers and allow them to advert the danger of incurring huge losses.