Health ministry to buy Rs. 150 crore khadi products for hospitals
The order circulated by the health ministry include 45 items like blankets, soaps, curtains, gowns for patients and doctors. The list has been provided to hospitals and autonomous institutes associated with the health ministry.
The list of 45 items was finalised last year on the basis of recommendations of a committee. This order from central government hospitals will be largest institutional order for Khadi and Village Industries Commission. The commission is responsible for promoting khadi in India.
Since Narendra Modi government came to power KVIC has bagged many big orders from government companies and departments. The previous big orders got by KVIc are Rs. 52 crore order from ONGC and Rs. 42 crore from Indian Railways.
The Rs. 150 crore order from hospitals will account for over 7 percent of KVIC's annual sales for the present year. KVIC however maintains that most of the orders it receives do not come from such nominations but through a competitive process. Khadi products worth a little over Rs. 1500 crore were sold previous year and the sales this year is expected to be 35 per cent more than the last year.
KVIC says that its sales have increased over last few years thanks to the government push to promote khadi. KVIC chairman V K Saxena confirmed the big order from health ministry and said that, "The ministry of health adopting khadi for hospitals and staff is a significant symbol of khadi being the most natural and organic skin friendly fabric. J P Nadda's example of prescribing khadi for medical staff will result in purchases of Rs. 150 crore by the health ministry. It will have a compounding effect of livelihood support it gives to khadi artisans."
The problem faced by KVIC thanks to rise in demand is time lag in meeting the demand. KVIC has not been able to push the speed of production.