Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood chaired a meeting of the Committee to oversee the exports of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
The meeting was attended by the Federal Minister for Science and Technology Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, the Federal Minister for Industries and Production Muhammad Hammad Azhar, and other stakeholders. The purpose of the committee is to review the stock of PPE in Pakistan and make decisions, based on future requirement projections, regarding the continuation of their exports.
Talking to the committee members, Razak Dawood informed that a number of businessmen have approached him for allowing exports of N95 masks, which is banned by the Cabinet. However, he added, the exports of N95 masks cannot be exported at this moment, unless it is backed by statistical evidence that local demands are being fulfilled and the production is in surplus.
The Advisor reiterated that Pakistan needs to fully exploit the opportunities arising out of COVID-19, in terms of an increase in demands for PPE worldwide, but with a strategy to have enough supplies available in the country.
While discussing the requirements for PPE, the Advisor underscored that the Federal and Provincial health departments should work on projections for future demands so they can get an accurate picture of the stocks. Mr. Razak Dawood further stated that the Ministry of Commerce will go to the next NCOC meeting to get all provincial stakeholders on board with regards to the provision of precise information, which can help the committee to make timely decisions.
During the meeting, Mr. Razak Dawood informed that the export of allowed items of PPE is providing impetus to meet the export targets of the government. Federal Minister for Science and Technology said that the local industry has enhanced its capacity for PPE production with foreign investors interested as well.
The committee showed satisfaction that no shortages of PPE have been reported ever since the export of a majority of items was allowed by the Federal Cabinet.
The Federal Cabinet lifted the ban on the export of all items of PPE, hand sanitizers, disposable gowns and gloves, face shields, biohazard bags, goggles and shoe covers, made from various classes of materials, including woven and non-woven chlorinated polyethylene (CPE), Polypropylene (PP), spun-bond and meltblown, with the exception of N-95 Masks and Surgical Masks and Tyvek Suits, in the meeting on June 02, 2020.
The Cabinet also constituted a committee under Advisor to the Prime Minister Mr. Abdul Razak Dawood represented by all relevant stakeholders to review the local stock positions of PPE, from time to time in order to ensure that exports do not result in local shortages.