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MSME Ministry Takes Effective Steps to Tackle Challenges Posed by Pandemic

The Union Ministry of MSME has taken a number of technology-based initiatives and interventions to tackle COVID-19 challenges
BY BEx Bureau
BusinessEx
Nov 19, 2020

The Union Ministry of MSME has taken a number of technology-based initiatives and interventions to tackle COVID-19 challenges. These have resulted in an effective response to the Prime Ministers call of Atmanirbhar Bharat Make in India. With help of these initiatives and interventions, the country is now not only manufacturing enough hand sanitizer bottle dispensers (Pump/Flip) for meeting almost all its sharply increased demand but also poised to export the same. They have also helped the country in achieving self-sufficiency in hand-sanitizing materials (liquid/gel) and have contributed immensely in developing/producing auxiliary items like masks, face-shields, PPE Kits, sanitizer box, testing facilities etc.

MSME Minister Shri Nitin Gadkari has complimented the Team MSME on these initiatives and achievements.

Hand Sanitizer Bottle Dispenser (Pump/Flip)

During COVID-19, the demand for hand sanitizer and its bottles increased dramatically. Accordingly, the demand for Bottle Dispenser (pumps) increased manifold (50 lakh per day). The pre-covid manufacturing capacity of bottle dispensers/ pumps in the country was at around 5 lakh per day. To meet the demand, efforts were being made to import a lot of dispensers from China. However, the supply chain from abroad was totally disturbed, which led to huge price rise (INR 30 per dispenser) for such dispensers in the country. This resulted in a hike of the prices of sanitizers in the Indian market.

The Ministry of MSME's Intervention

Realizing this problem, in the beginning of May, 2020, Secretary, MSME held several rounds of meetings with the stakeholders including Ministrys officials and Tool Rooms (TRs) and Technology Centers (TCs). Meetings were also held with the industry including All India Plastic Manufacturers Association (AIPMA), All India Medical Devices Manufacturers Association etc. to understand how to ramp up local manufacturing of dispensers. The private sector was motivated to expand the capacities. However, it was realized that sudden increase in manufacturing is not possible. This situation was because the moulds were not available in the country. So far, the industry was importing moulds also.

MSME Ministry Motivated its Technology Centers (TCs)

  • The TCs were motivated to take up this challenge and activity. Seven moulds were required for manufacturing the dispenser components.
  • Ministry also approved grant for TCs for purchase of new machinery worth INR 26 crore for various products.
  • TCs took the challenge of manufacturing the moulds for dispensers as Multi cavity (16 or 24 cavity) moulds were not being manufactured in the country
  • To reduce the timelines, the required seven moulds were parallelly distributed to a number of TCs located at various places (Ahmadabad, Ludhiana, Aurangabad, Jamshedpur, Hyderabad, Mumbai).

Achieving Self-sufficiency in Hand-sanitizing materials:

As part of its other major initiatives, MSME Ministry contributed towards country achieving Self-sufficiency in production of Hand Sanitizing Material (Liquid/gel). It also created sanitizer testing facility besides developing Ayurvedic/Cosmetic Sanitizers using natural aroma. The details in this regard are as below:

  • With the spread of COVID 19, the demand for hand sanitizer increased exponentially. The rates for the retail market of sanitizer soared to the highest level. There was a huge shortage. The Indian government liberalized licensing for manufacturing of the sanitizers. Sugar Mills, Distilleries, FMCG were motivated to start manufacturing sanitizers.
  • One Technology Centre of the Ministry of MSME namely Fragrance Flavour Development Centre (FFDC), at Kannauj was asked to take license for sanitizer and alcohol to manufacture sanitizer. It developed and manufactured the hand sanitizers as per WHO standards and supplied to the healthcare system in and around Kannauj.
  • The Ministry of MSME provided funds to FFDC for purchase of packaging line and other equipment. FFDC followed the pricing guidelines of NPPA for the sanitizer.

  • FFDC sold more than 90,000 bottles 400 cans of Hand Sanitiser and supplied to the various Govt. Organizations like Northern Railways, Banks etc.

  • Sanitizer testing facility was also created and testing has been started. Further, sample for Ayurvedic/ cosmetic Sanitizer have been developed using natural aroma which are under testing (CSIR-National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow). Fragrance for sanitizer has also been developed.
  • At present, the availability of the sanitizer material is sufficient in the country.

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