April 1, 2020 1:09:36 am
INDUSTRY BODIES have flagged the key issues of design, demand and import in augmenting supply of ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPEs) to arrest COVID-19 spread, it is learnt.
According to sources, in the first meeting of the empowered group of officers on ‘coordinating with private sector, NGOs, and international organisations’ for COVID-19-related response activities, top office-bearers of four major industry associations — CII, FICCI, ASSOCHAM, and NASSCOM — raised these issues. During the meeting, chaired by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant on Monday, the industry is learnt to have raised the issue of demand assessment of ventilators in India.
It is learnt that one of the industry chambers told the empowered group that a consortium comprising DRDO, the IITs, and the aerospace and automobile industries has developed a “prototype of ventilators and is looking for industry partners for mass production”. They also requested that a demand assessment be made by relevant government departments for this, a source said.
Corporate India also raised the issue of design approval of ventilators, and funding for their manufacturing, in the meeting, according to the source.
Raising the issue of design, one industry representative is learnt to have said in the meeting that prototype designs of ventilators have been developed by “start-ups, which are currently awaiting design approval and funding”. This representative is learnt to have also suggested using funds under corporate social responsibility (CSR) for PPEs.
The industry associations also raised the issue of substantial price increase of PPEs by Chinese manufactures, and observed that these manufacturers are reluctant to accept bank guarantees, a source said.
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