Covaxin maker welcomes ₹35,000 cr. vaccination proposal

Dr. Krishna Ella, Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Biotech.  

A great step, far-reaching budget announcement was how Bharat Biotech founder and CMD Krishna Ella described the Budget proposal for providing ₹35,000 crore for Covid-19 vaccination in 2021-22.

The Finance Minister’s commitment to provide more funds for containing the pandemic spread and [thereby] an effective, smooth path for the vaccination scheme will help contain and lead towards accomplishing a Covid-19 disease free country, he said in a statement.

Covaxin, developed by Bharat Biotech with ICMR-NIV, is one of the two Covid-19 vaccines approved by the Drugs Controller General of India and being administered to frontline healthcare workers since last month.

The government’s focus on preventive health, curative health and well-being was reassuring, he said. Joint managing director Suchitra Ella said new health infrastructure schemes and the ₹35,000 crore towards the vaccination is a “huge fiscal medicine to contain the pandemic, reduce disease burden for the population and the economy. The Budget proposal on setting up of nine Bio Safety Lab (BSL) in the Budget will boost research and scientific discoveries.

Execution matters

Chairman of Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Satish Reddy said the Budget was growth oriented, with a lot of positive interventions and having something for everyone.

On healthcare, the government has taken a big step with an outlay of ₹2.23 lakh crore, while on innovation and research and development, the additional allocation of ₹50,000 crore, over five years, through the National Research Foundation marks a good beginning. “As with all budgets, there are concrete proposals that are encouraging but it is the execution that finally matters. I hope this time the government gets it right,” he said.

Welcoming the Budget’s thrust on healthcare, Indian Immunologicals Managing Director K.Anand Kumar said the higher allocation for primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare along with steps to set up health and wellness centres across the country would immensely help, especially the economically weaker section and make quality healthcare more affordable. Making specific funds available for the vaccination for COVID-19 as well as pneumococcal will help combat the pandemic and save precious lives.

Right stimulus

Cyient Executive Chairman BVR Mohan Reddy said “in the unprecedented times, the Budget is well balanced and provides the right stimulus to strengthen economy and create jobs. Finance Minister did a commendable job with substantial allocation to key sectors like healthcare, infrastructure, education and manufacturing. No additional burden on account of direct taxes is very relieving.”

TalentSprint CEO and Managing Director Santanu Paul said the “Budget has been a letdown for edtech firms which performed extremely well during the pandemic and were revenue drivers. Platforms promoting hybrid and blended learning will play a pivotal role in accelerating reach in tier 2/3 towns and the government should have taken cognizance of this and provided special incentives. As an NSE group company, we welcome the ₹1,500 crore fund for digital payments as this will drive the need for more skilled talent in the fintech sector and drive employment opportunities.”

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Printable version | Apr 23, 2021 7:55:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/covaxin-maker-welcomes-35000-cr-vaccination-proposal/article33721184.ece

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