Prime Minister Narendra Modi's announcement that the central government will provide free coronavirus vaccine to states will help ensuring quick rollout of vaccine, uniformity of procurement prices and resuming normal economic activities at the earliest, India Inc said on Monday.
Industry chamber PHDCCI said that the increased role of the central government in the vaccination procurement process would help make vaccination drives further effective and maximise the supply in the country in relatively less time.
"This would be a crucial step in making the country COVID free sooner than later," it said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday announced that the central government will provide free coronavirus vaccine to states for inoculation of all above the age of 18 from June 21, and asserted that vaccine supply would be increased significantly in the country in coming days.
The Centre has decided to buy 75 per cent of jabs from vaccine makers, including 25 per cent of the state quota, and give it for free to state governments, the prime minister said in an address to the nation.
Assocham too said that the decision to streamline vaccine procurement with the Centre bearing 75 per cent of the cost of doses would provide speed to India's vaccination programme and leave states with more resources to fight the coronavirus.
"The revised policy would remove all procedural bottlenecks for availability of vaccines to the states," the chamber said.
The CII said that the announcements by the Prime Minister are welcome moves in the critical task of ensuring quick rollout of vaccines.
Centralisation of procurement will ensure uniformity of procurement prices and create bandwidth among states to manage inoculation of their adult populations, it said.
"This would also ensure an equitable allocation of vaccines in states ... Making the vaccines available for all the eligible population free of cost will go a long way in protecting the citizens and resuming normal economic activities at the earliest," it added.
Retaining the vaccine procurement of 25 per cent by the private sector will enable industry to contribute to the vaccination drive and target workers better.
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