Central and State Governments are taking all steps to ensure the supply of essential items during the lockdown to combat the novel Coronavirus. To prevent the spread of coronavirus, hand sanitizers are used by the public, health workers, and hospitals. The demand of sanitizers is increasing day by day and maintaining demand and supply balance, State Government authorities including Excise Commissioners, Cane Commissioners, Drug Controllers as well as District Collectors of various states have been advised to remove any bottlenecks in the supply of ethanol or ENA to manufacturers of hand sanitizers and to give permissions or licenses to the applicants including distilleries who intend to manufacture hand sanitizers. Distilleries and Sugar mills that can produce hand sanitizers in bulk have also been motivated to make hand sanitizers. These manufacturers have also been asked to work in three shifts to maximize their output.
About 45 distilleries and 564 other manufacturers have been granted permission to produce hand sanitizers; more than 55 distilleries are likely to be permitted in one or two days; and many more are being motivated to produce sanitizers in this scenario. Most of them have commenced production and others are likely to start production in a week; thus, there will be a sufficient supply of hand sanitizers for the consumers and hospitals.
To ensure that hand sanitizers are made available to the general public and hospitals at a reasonable price, the Government has also fixed the Maximum Retail Price of sanitizers. The retail prices of hand sanitizers shall not be more than Rs 100 each bottle of 200ml; the prices of other quantities of hand sanitizers shall be fixed in the proportion of these prices.