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    Government of India has asked liquor manufacturers to make alcohol available for sanitiser

    Synopsis

    World over in corona affected countries, some distilleries, including Shane Warne’s have stopped manufacturing liquor and started making hand sanitisers. In Maharashtra too, sugar mills are getting higher demand and higher price for SDS (special denatured spirits) used to make hand sanitisers.

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    Pune: Government of India has asked the country's sugar industry as well as the distilleries to prioritize supply of Ethyl Alcohol, ENA (extra neutral alcohol) and ethanol, by products of sugar manufacturing and used in making liquor or processed for use as fuel, to sanitiser industry. Government has brought these raw materials under the Essential Commodities Act and fixed price of ethanol used in hand sanitizer to not exceed what it was on March 5.

    World over in corona affected countries, some distilleries, including Shane Warne’s have stopped manufacturing liquor and started making hand sanitisers. In Maharashtra too, sugar mills are getting higher demand and higher price for SDS (special denatured spirits) used to make hand sanitisers.

    On March 19, via a notification, government of India brought production, quality, distribution and prices of alcohol used in manufacturing of hand sanitisers under the purview of the Essential Commodities Act till June 2020. As such the prices of alcohol used in manufacture of hand sanitisers cannot exceed from those prevailing on March 5, 2020.

    "Sanitiser industry operating in the state should be ecouraged to operate their units in all the three shifts. Indian Sugar Mills Association and All India Distilleries Association have assured that Ethyl Alcohol, ENA (extra neutral alcohol) and ethanol will be made availble to the sanitiser industry at reasonable price. The distillery units can also manufacture sanitisers in bulk," the notification said.

    Sanjay Bhoosreddy, principal secretary, Excise, Uttar Pradesh said, "The hand sanitiser manufacturers require a license from the exercise department to get the denatured ethanol. If anyone having license to manufacture hand sanitiser want to get ethanol, we will process their license application online and within one day."

    "ISMA has given a commitment that in the interest of the country and to fight the COVID-19, all the requirements of the hand sanitizer manufacturers for ethanol and ENA would be supplied to them at least for the next 2-3 months. In this regard members are requested to kindly help supply adequate ethanol and ENA to the hand sanitizer manufacturers in compliance with the quota issued by the State authorities," said Abinash Verma, director general, ISMA in a letter addressed to member mills.

    The sanitiser industry is divided into two categories; first is the over the counter (OTC) sanitisers in which the FMCG brands used to dominate till outbreak of corona. However, post-Corona, the local illegal and unregulated production of OTC hand sanitisers has mushroomed in the country. The second category is of hospitals, which is catered to by a different set of MNCs and Indian companies and which is also facing shortages of raw materials due to jump in demand.

    Yash Bhayani, partner, Nagindas Hiralal Bhayani from Ankaleshwar in Gujarat is contract manufacturers of sanitiser used by hospitals and healthcare services for one of the top three companies in this segment. "We have increased our production by 10 times of what we were manufacturing in January. The demand from hospitals has more than doubled," said Bhayani.
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