The Finance Ministry on Monday gave in-principle nod to sanction supply credit to Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India. The credit will be sanctioned to the nodal ministers in-charge for Covid-19 who will then pass it on to the two companies to ramp up vaccine production, reports said.
The ministry has cleared a credit of Rs 3,000 crore for SII and Rs 1,500 crore for Bharat Biotech. Reports also said that the payment will be released at the earliest.
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.
In an exclusive interview to CNBC TV18 earlier this month, Poonawalla said that the government was “working very closely with vaccine producers like Serum and many others to see how they can financially aid and find other innovative ways of ramping up our capacity”.
The Pune-based vaccine maker hoped to increase its production capacity by the month of June, 2021.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said that she had discussed with various industry chambers the concerns of India Inc over Covid-19 management in the country. Sitharaman said that the Centre would continue to work with state governments to save lives and livelihood amid the pandemic.
“Spoke on telephone with each of the following business/Chamber leaders. Took their inputs on industry/Association related matters. Informed them that GoI at various levels from @PMOIndia is responding to #Covid management. Working together with states for lives and livelihoods,” the finance minister tweeted.