Dipen Agrawal, President of Chamber of Associations of Maharashtra Industry & Trade (CAMIT) welcomed relaxation in statutory compliances announced today by Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman. The announcements have partly by and large addressed the demands made from all quarters on the compliance front.
Dipen Agrawal while discussing the recent notification issued by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs fixing MRP of Rs. 100 for 200 ml hand sanitizer and Rs. 8 and Rs. 10 for 2ply and 3ply surgical masks respectively, informed that worldwide, as a precautionary measure, washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is recommended, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing one’s nose.
If soap and water are not readily available, use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer is recommended. This has increased the demand for alcohol-based sanitizers throughout the world and large players are overbooked with export orders and catering international demand which prompted Consumer Affair Ministry to fix MRP to maintain the affordability of sanitizer in India. This action on part of government instead of giving relief has added to misery of common-man.
Agrawal said CAMIT has represented to Consumer Affair Minister – Ramvilas Paswan, MoS Consumer Affairs – Raosaheb Patil Danve, Economic Advisor to Ministry of Consumer Affairs – Awadhesh Choudhary, Minister for MSME – Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Corporate Affairs & Industry – Piyush Goyal and Finance Minister – Nirmala Sitharaman highlighting the latest development in USA regarding manufacture and sale of sanitizer.
In US, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, taking note of public health emergency declared in the USA and the rising demand of alcohol-based hand sanitizer for use by public and health care personals has issued guidance “Temporary Policy for Preparation of Certain Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer Products During the Public Health Emergency (COVID-19)” on 20/03/2020 for temporary registration of manufacturers, permitting them to manufacture alcohol-based hand sanitizer, with an assurance of not taking action if hand sanitizer manufactured confirm with World Health Organisation recommendations on a hand-rub formulation.
CAMIT has requested the Government of India to reduce GST on hand sanitizer and surgical mask from 18% & 5% respectively to Zero for the next one year. Taking a clue from steps taken by United States, allow MSME in India to manufacture alcohol-based hand sanitizer confirming to WHO recommended formulation by relaxing stringent license condition in lines with US FDA [over-the-counter (OTC) registration] to promote market competition and quality to decide the price. To promote the export of alcohol-based hand sanitizer from India.
Alternatively requested government to revisit the MRP fixed for sanitizer to revise the same so as to enable MSME to manufacture a useful quality products. As per market inputs the MRP fixed should be at least Rs.250/- to Rs.300/- per 200 ml bottle, he added.
Dipen Agrawal expressed his gratitude towards Prime Minister, Narendra Modi for his pre-emptive guidance to State and UT government to insulate India from entering in 3rd stage of pandemic and hoped concerned in the ministry of consumer affairs will respond positively to our representation in the larger interest of all stakeholders.