As the COVID cases have started to decline, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has allowed the supply of oxygen to certain industries and MSMEs on a temporary basis, subject to ensuring an adequate supply of medical oxygen to hospitals and other medical purposes. It is also said that the production of oxygen has also increased in last few weeks.
In April, the government had diverted all liquid oxygen meant for non-medical purposes for medical use as the number of COVID-19 cases were on the rise. The only sectors that were exempt at that time were defence, ampoule- and vial-making industry, and pharmaceuticals.
The MHA has now exempted more industries for use of liquid oxygen to include continuous process industries/ plants such as furnaces, refineries, steel, aluminium, copper processing plants, etc; infrastructure projects and plants; Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs); exporters of manufacturing sector requiring oxygen for production, and food processing units.
“The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) may allow usage of liquid oxygen to the above-mentioned industries/ projects/ units on a temporary basis subject to ensuring an adequate supply of liquid medical oxygen to hospitals and other medical purposes as per demands of states/ Union Territories as well as adequate supply to industries/sectors such as ampoules and vials, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing of oxygen cylinders and PSA plants, neutral glass tubing and defence forces,” The ministry said.