Ministry of Consumer Affairs has asked the state governments and union territories to provide necessary permissions to the hand sanitiser producers to increase the production in view of surge in demand and thereby ensure its availability. All possible arrangements should be made to ensure that Ethyl Alcohol is made easily available to the sanitiser industry.

The Ministry's communication to state governments and UTs comes close on the heels of a whopping 400% increase in the demand of hand sanitisers in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus. ''The demand of sanitisers is increasing day by day and to maintain demand and supply balance the state governments and UTs have been asked to accord necessary approvals of licensing and storage of Ethyl Alcohol/Extra Neutral Alcohol/Ethanol to the sanitiser industries up to their installed capacity without any quota restriction on supply of these products,'' the ministry said.

Major hand sanitisers include Reckitt Benckiser (India) Private Limited, ITC Limited, Dabur India Limited, Hindustan Unilever Limited, The Himalaya Drug Company, Pristine Care Products Private Limited, Wipro Consumer Care Limited, Colgate Palmolive (India) Limited, Godrej Consumer Products Limited, Herbal Startegi .

Further, the Ministry has asked the state governments and UTs to make all possible arrangements to ensure the availability of Ethyl Alcohol/Extra Neutral Alcohol to the sanitiser industry. ''In this regard, Indian Sugar Mills Association and All India Distilleries Association have also assured that the input material would be made available to the producers of sanitisers at a reasonable price,'' said the ministry in its communication.

The Ministry wants the state governments and UTs to motivate the sanitiser industry to run their units in all three shifts, so that they can utilize their installed capacity to produce maximum quantities of hand sanitisers. Moreover, the state governments and UTs were told to accord necessary permissions to the sanitiser industry to encourage them for increasing their production capacity.

The Ministry has asked the state governments and UTs to approve the proposal by the distillery members of the All India Distilleries Association to produce sanitisers in bulk that can be bottled by the sanitiser industry.

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