Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday approved advance payment of â‚¹4,567.50 crore to boost the capacity of the makers of Covid-19 vaccines in India – Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India, as the country faces a second wave of coronavirus disease.
The decision by the ministry comes days after SII CEO Adar Poonawalla requested the government for Rs 3,000 crore grant for ramping up capacity of the Covid-19 vaccine beyond 100 million doses a month.
Financial assistance to SII and Bharat Biotech will boost its vaccine production as the government brought everyone above 18 years of age under the ambit of the vaccination drive.
The government has also allowed manufacturers to sell up to 50 per cent of their stock – to other states or in the open market – at a pre-agreed price.
Sitharaman further said that she had discussed with various industry chambers the concerns of India over Covid-19 management in the country. She mentioned that the Centre would continue to work with state governments to save lives and livelihood amid the pandemic.
Apart from Bharat Biotech, three public sector companies – Haffkine Biopharmaceutical Corporation Ltd , Mumbai, Indian Immunologicals Limited, Hyderabad and Bharat Immunologicals & Biologicals Limited, Bulandshahr too have been given grants to enhance their production capacity.
Additionally, India also approved Russian made Sputnik V and is also planning to approve vaccines made by Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson