How India’s export ban on sanitizers backfired

A poorly drafted and rashly implemented order, issued early on into the pandemic, triggered weeks of confusion and badly hit exports of unrelated products before it was reworked.

As Indians continue to grapple with the horrifying consequences of the second wave of COVID-19, it has become clear, and is now globally recognized, that the Narendra Modi government’s efforts to tackle this wave have been ill-thought-out and knee-jerk. 

But several weeks before the second wave of the pandemic struck India with an unexpected intensity, top functionaries of the central government were boasting about their supposed success in tackling the novel coronavirus outbreak and its aftermath. If Prime Minister Modi promoted the perception that India’s fight against COVID-19 was “inspiring the world”, his health minister Harsh Vardhan declared that …


Akshay Deshmane

Akshay is an investigative reporter and former writer at The Morning Context. Based in Delhi, he writes about the environment, public policy and economy from the lens of the pulls and pressures of an ambitious democracy. Akshay uses the right to information extensively for reporting stories of vital public interest. Over the past decade and more, he has worked for HuffPost India, Frontline, The Economic Times, Down To Earth and DNA.