NEW DELHI: The centre has asked states to direct distilleries to start manufacturing sanitisers themselves in order to enhance the production of hand sanitisers and ensure its easy availability to consumers. Distilleries supply extra neutral alcohol (ENA), a raw material used in the manufacturing of sanitisers. The progress is being directly monitored by Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

“Now we want distilleries that have their own bottling plants to add a new product line – sanitisers – to their line up of alcoholic beverages. This will put off pressure from hand sanitiser industry which is facing huge challenge to meet the demand,” said a senior food ministry official.

The food ministry, on Saturday, has written a letter to chow secretaries of all states, asking them to ensure availability of hand sanitisers and ENA to sanitiser manufacturing units.

“Those distilleries which don’t have bottling plant can produce sanitisers in bulk that can be bottled by sanitiser industry and other industry. All necessary permissions should be accorded for this on a priority basis,” Subodh Kumar Singh, joint secretary of food ministry wrote in the letter.

The government has also instructed all drug controllers of states to process the manufacturing applications for such products within three days under provisions of Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.

The letter also asked states to motivate sanitiser companies to run their plants in three shifts for the optimum production.

“Sanitiser industry should also be encouraged to enhance their production capacity, for which all necessary permissions may be accorded on a priority basis,” the letter read.

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