Tuesday, 9 August, 2022
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India could soon be making sanitiser dispenser pumps — an item imported from China

The domestic demand for dispenser pumps during Covid is estimated at 50 lakh units. Of these, 90% have been imported from China.

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New Delhi: India may soon begin large-scale domestic production of sanitiser dispenser pumps — a small, relatively cheap item that had become a hurdle in the country’s quest for self-reliance in its battle against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Various tool rooms, technology centres and in-house research and development (R&D) facilities under the Union Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) have finalised designs for these pumps, the parliamentary standing committee of home affairs was informed earlier this week.

In a presentation Thursday, the ministry told the committee that these centres are waiting for moulding and other machines to start producing pumps.

Headed by Congress Rajya Sabha member Anand Sharma, the committee has been reviewing the government’s Covid-19 management plan and inviting different ministries to give updates on the work being done. It was as part of this exercise that the MSME Ministry made a presentation to the panel Thursday.

“We have activated our in-house R&D facilities and are trying to fill the gap in manufacturing of these pumps. In the last few months, we have sanctioned funding support for such machines,” the ministry said in its presentation to the House panel.

The domestic demand for dispenser pumps during the pandemic is estimated at 50 lakh units. Of these, 90 per cent have been imported from China, prompting the government to look at ways to manufacture them within the country at competitive prices.

ThePrint had reported in June how the government was struggling to ramp up production of these pumps, priced at Rs 5-20, even as it managed to successfully meet the domestic demand for other pandemic essentials, like alcohol-based hand sanitisers, personal protective equipment (PPE) kits, masks, ventilators and testing kits. 

Although small in size, sanitiser dispenser pumps have as many as 16 components, mainly made of plastic.

A couple of local manufacturers churn them out, but not at competitive prices, and economies of scale thus favour the import of pumps from China.

Some of the other innovations developed by the MSME Ministry units include ultraviolet sanitiser in a wooden box, plasma-based sanitisers (sanitisers that employ a luminous gas to kill germs), and non-contact dispensers. 

The ministry will eventually aim to use this R&D to step up commercial production of these items.

Also Read: ‘Need to Make in India to make for the world’ — Modi’s I-Day call for Atmanirbhar Bharat

India’s dependence on China 

In light of the clash between India and China at the Line of Actual Control in June, and continuing tensions on the border, there has been a call from swadeshi lobbies to boycott Chinese goods. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also stressed the need for being “Vocal for Local”. But this may be easier said than done, with Indian households relying on Chinese imports for a wide variety of items from toys to furniture and idols and even sindur

China is at the top of the list of countries from where India imports its goods. In 2019-20, India imported goods worth $65 billion from China, constituting around 14 per cent of its total imports. 

China’s dominance in India’s import basket can be gauged from the fact that the United States, which has the second-largest share in the country’s imports, only constitutes 7.5 per cent of the total, at $35.6 billion.

To be sure, India’s imports from China slowed down in 2019-20 as compared to 2018-19 in absolute terms, but its share in total imports has remained the same. 

Also Read: China’s Covid success spurs 78% rise in imports from India, cuts trade deficit


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  1. Stop creating illusion that news is under risk etc, you are not Wikipedia, and it’s very clear from your article title about your intentions you morons. Your very existence is pointless

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