With the number of coronavirus cases coming down, the government has permitted oxygen manufacturing units to supply oxygen to certain industries such as MSMEs, food processing plants, and infrastructure projects, on a temporary basis.
This supply, however, would be subjected to ensuring an adequate supply of liquid medical oxygen to hospitals and other medical purposes as per demands of states/UTs 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.
In April, the center banned the supply of oxygen for industrial purposes except in nine specified industries in view of the shortage of the essential public health commodity in several states amid a spike in COVID-19 infections.
The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), under the commerce and industry ministry, has proposed the home ministry for resuming the supply of oxygen to the industries other than the industries exempted by the home ministry.
The department has asked for the supply to furnaces, refineries, steel, aluminum, copper processing plants; infrastructure projects and plants; MSMEs, exporters of manufacturing sector requiring oxygen for production; and food processing units.
"In this regard, DPIIT may allow usage of liquid oxygen" to these "industries/projects/units on a temporary basis," according to an office memorandum of the home ministry.