With a shortage of oxygen production units, the Centre has banned the supply of oxygen for industrial purposes from April 22, according to an order issued on Sunday from the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The decision was taken by an Empowered Group headed by the Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, which is tasked with managing supplies of medical equipment.
Medical-grade oxygen has now emerged as a life saving drug. As of now medical oxygen accounts for 60% of the daily industrial oxygen produced and this demand is likely to increase further.
However oxygen supply for industries that deal with making ampoules and vials, pharmaceuticals, petroleum refineries, steel plants, nuclear energy facilities, oxygen cylinder manufacturers, waste water treatment plants, food and water purification would continue, the order said.
The group recommended that industrial units out of the permissible list either import oxygen or set up their own Air Separator Units for generating oxygen for their captive requirements.