New Delhi: The ministry of home affairs (MHA) allowed the supply of oxygen to certain industries on a temporary basis subject to ensuring an adequate supply of medical oxygen to hospitals and other medical purposes as number of Covid-19 cases are coming down and demand for medical oxygen easing.
The government had, in April last week, diverted all the liquid oxygen meant for all non-medical purposes and manufacturing industry for medical use as the number of cases were skyrocketing and several states had reported a shortage of oxygen to treat critically-ill coronavirus disease patients amid rising deaths.. Only sectors exempted at that time were defence, ampules and vials making industry and pharmaceuticals.
In its order on Monday, the MHA decided to exempt more industries for use of liquid oxygen, which include – continuous process industries/ plants such as furnaces, refineries, steel, aluminum, copper processing plants, etc. which require continuous power supply; infrastructure projects and plants; Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs); exporters of manufacturing sector requiring oxygen for production, and food processing units.
The ministry said that “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 ampules and vials, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing of oxygen cylinders and PSA plants, neutral glass tubing and defence forces”.
The industries had approached the DPIIT in this regard.
People familiar with the development said that supply of oxygen was reviewed, and it was concluded that there is no shortage in any hospital.