NEW DELHI: The government is expected to announce a set of
to tackle possible
in supply of drugs and other manufactured goods due to the coronavirus outbreak in China.
may include a reduction in customs duty on some essential inputs, apart from speeding up port clearances.
On Tuesday, finance minister
met industry players and instructed her team of officers to discuss the
concerned for a brainstorming on Wednesday.
“The issues raised will be informed to them (other departments) and then they will apply their mind and come back tomorrow
so that we talk it among ourselves so that possible solutions can be found, post which we will hopefully have a discussion with the PMO. Speedily, some response will be announced at the earliest,” Sitharaman said.
CORONAVIRUS HITS SUPPLIESNiti Aayog calls meeting of ministries todayFinance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, “Speedily, some response will be announced at the earliest,” to tackle supply disruptions due to the coronavirus scare. She said this after meeting representatives from around 20 industries which do business with China. A senior official said the government would look at suggestions to airlift some inputs and raw material used for manufacturing life-saving medicines and reduce duties to offset the impact of higher transportation cost.
Asked about solutions to tackle possible shortage of medicines, Sitharaman said, “I can answer this after a few
days… The concern is that some essential raw material will have to be obtained, we will have to act speedily. That’s where it is today.”
Separately, Niti Aayog has called a meeting of several ministries on Wednesday to discuss ways to manufacture pharma ingredients as India imports nearly two-thirds of its requirement of basic drugs used in medicines from China. There were indications that some announcements to address the concerns will come over the next few days. Chemicals used by various industries were flagged as an area of concern and domestic industry indicated that the supply disruption could be used as an opportunity to resume production.