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Liquor firms seek licenses for sanitizer

At a time when hand sanitizers are selling like hot cakes in the country, India’s liquor firms in India including Amrut Distilleries and John Distilleries will approach state excise department on Monday to seek clarification on the way forward on hand sanitizers manufacturing at their plants. Stakeholders from the industry will also meet drug controllers to seek and fast track issuance of required licenses and approvals.

This effort to compensate paucity of supply of the product in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak since ethyl alcohol, a key raw material used in a distillery, is also a key ingredient for hand sanitizers. The move comes as the central government has urged state governments to rope in distilleries to make hand sanitizers for the shutdown period till March 31 due to the pandemic.

“This is the need of the hour. We will support the cause and manufacture as per the requirement,” stated Paul John, chairman of John Distilleries. Deepak Roy, executive vice chairman of Allied Blenders and Distillers that makes Officer’s Choice whisky, opines, “While we do not have the skill set to make the product, we are examining the request since it has come from the central government. Even if we decide not to make santizers, we will supply alcohol on priority to nearby ancillaries in the business.”