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MEA Issues Statement On Hydroxychloroquine Export Nod, Shuts Down 'attempts To Politicise'

Discouraging any speculation in the export nod of Hydroxychloroquine, the MEA in a statement on Tues said that India will licence it to countries badly affected

MEA

Hours after the United States President Donald Trump warned India of retaliation if it stops the supply of Hydroxychloroquine, politicisation of the statement has begun amid surging Coronavirus cases. Clarifying on the same and 'discouraging' any speculation in the matter, the Ministry of External Affairs in a statement on Tuesday said that India will licence paracetamol and Hydroxychloroquine in appropriate quantities to all neighbouring countries and to some nations who have been particularly badly affected by the pandemic.

The statement categorically stated that speculation in this regard must not be made and that there should notbe any attempt to politicise it.

READ | Trump warns India of retaliation if Hydroxychloroquine export stops, hails brief relief

The official spokesperson of MEA, Anurag Srivastava said: "Given the enormity of the COVID19 pandemic, India has always maintained that the international community must display strong solidarity and cooperation. This approach also guided our evacuation of nationals of other countries. In view of the humanitarian aspects of the pandemic, it has been decided that India would licence paracetamol and HCQ in appropriate quantities to all our neighbouring countries who are dependent on our capabilities. We will also be supplying these essential drugs to some nations who have been particularly badly affected by the pandemic. We would, therefore, discourage any speculation in this regard or any attempts to politicise the matter."

READ | UN Security Council to discuss Covid behind closed doors; Here's each member's position

Trump's warning

After request to India to release Hydroxychloroquine, United States President Donald Trump has now warned of retaliation, if New Delhi stops the supply. The Trump administration has made Hydroxychloroquine as part of its Strategic National Stockpile amid Coronavirus outbreak, which has so far claimed 10,871 lives in US and 366,994 people are infected by it. In his press briefing on Tuesday, Trump said that he has spoken to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the supply of Hydroxychloroquine adding that if India doesn't allow export, it may face retaliation. 

Trump said, "I spoke to PM Modi, and I said we appreciate it that you are allowing our supply (of Hydroxychloroquine) to come out, if he doesn't allow it to come out, that would be okay, but of course, there may be retaliation, why wouldn't there be?"

READ | Coronavirus: Centre lifts restrictions on 24 active pharma ingredients; allows exports

India banned export

India's Directorate General of Foreign Trade on March 25 banned the export of Hydroxychloroquine but said that certain shipments on humanitarian grounds may be allowed on a case-by-case basis. Additionally, it was allowed in case of shipments where the irrevocable letter of credit was already issued or in the case where the full advance payment was received by the exporter in India against specific shipment.

The government also tightened the export ban norms on the anti-malarial drug by including special economic zones (SEZs) under its prohibition ambit to ensure there is no shortfall during Covid-19 crisis. Normally export ban or restrictions imposed by the government does not apply to these zones as well as EOUs, which are specially meant to promote outbound shipments from the country.

READ | India to allow Hydroxychloroquine & Paracetamol export to neighbours in need amid Covid

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