The Federal Cabinet has given its approval for export of locally-manufactured personal protective equipment (PPEs), sanitizers, and other things.
The approval was granted by the cabinet in a meeting held in Islamabad with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair.
Adviser to Prime Minister of Pakistan for Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood said that the approval was granted for the export of all PPE of any material (woven or nonwoven) as well as sanitizers.
However the ban on Tyvek suits, N95 masks, and surgical masks will continue, he added.
At today’s cabinet meeting, approval was granted for the export of all items of PPE of any material, woven or non woven; sanitizers have also been allowed, however the ban on Tyvek suits, N95 masks and surgical masks will continue. 1/2 @pid_gov @ImranKhanPTI @aliya_hamza
— Abdul Razak Dawood (@razak_dawood) June 2, 2020
The Advisor further said that exporters are requested to go full speed ahead and capture a good share of the world market. A committee has been formed to manage local demand to ensure adequate supplies. A notification for the purpose will be out in a few days.
The meeting also decided that a committee comprising of members from ministries of commerce, health, industrial production and science and technologies will be authorized to ban the export of any particular item keeping in view the domestic needs of the country.
The federal cabinet also emphasized on creating public awareness about standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the government against the spread of Coronavirus.
Previously, the government had approved export of textile masks across the world to earn foreign exchange for the country except for surgical and N-95 masks.
Hundreds of manufacturing units are shifting towards manufacturing PPE
The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) in a statement issued said that in the current scenario of economic distress, hundreds of manufacturing units related to garments, sports goods, textile, plastics, and auto industry are shifting towards manufacturing PPE.
These units have added PPE as their product lines. They are providing enough products to cover local demand, and now have capacity for exports, they said.
Exports of PPE gowns, face masks and face shields can easily fetch around $1 to $2 billion, if allowed.
“We should not surrender this tremendous export opportunity to India, Cambodia and Bangladesh. There is a short window to capture market share,” said the statement.
They said to facilitate the local industry in manufacturing PPE, they should be provided with a level-playing field. The sales tax exemption, which was granted to imports and subsequent sale of PPE through SRO 237 (I) 2020 dated March 20, 2020 should also be granted to local manufacturing, added the statement.
The LCCI office-bearers highlighted that the process of registration with the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP), which takes a long time, was a major obstacle in the manufacturing of PPE.