A section of the textile industry that had found hope in making PPEs is faced with
uncertainty as the country’s largest buyer and a Centre-designated nodal procurement
agency of Covid-19 emergency supplies, Hindustan Latex Limited (HLL), has temporarily

halted new orders owing to issues concerning quality control.Out of 121 units certified for manufacturing PPEs in the state out which 108 are inLudhiana. At least 12 of these Ludhiana firms were the HLL’s sole suppliers and received orders to manufacture PPE suits in lakhs earlier. The decision will indirectly affect othervendors as well.

A recent order from the mega-buyer has asked its suppliers to stop all further supplies as
the quality of coveralls supplied by the manufactures is being reviewed by them.“You are requested to stop all further supplies since we are reviewing the quality of coveralls supplied by the manufacturers,” reads the mail shot by HLL to its PPE suppliers
across the country.

The order has come as a jolt to Ludhiana’s textile industry. Ludhiana Knitwear Club
president Vinod Thapar said in these troubled times, making PPEs had come as a ray of
hope to the manufacturers who worked with full zeal to meet the country’s demand.
“Quality checks were conducted before the licence to manufacture was approved. It is
unfortunate that the new orders have been halted,” he rued.

A city-based manufacturer said that HLL Lifecare Ltd instructing us to put pause on the
supply for uncertain/ indefinite period is creating bottlenecks in the factories, forcing
manufacturers into financial and operational difficulties. The PPE manufacturers faced with the problem of surplus production and low demand are pining their hopes on the export option.We are in surplus production already. The price of PPEs has also fallen.

We have requested the government to allow exports,” said Akhil Malhotra of Shiva Tex Fab in Ludhiana. Punjab industries director Sibin C said they have already taken up the issue of export of PPEs with the Union government “Since there is over production and low domestic
demand, we have requested the Centre to allow exports,” he said.