The finance ministry has given in-principle nod for advance payment of Rs 4,567.50 crore to Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India (SII) to boost the production of the vaccines in India. This constitutes 100 per cent advance to two of India’s Covid vaccine manufacturers till July.
The finance ministry has reportedly relaxed the general financial rules to allow the advance payment against future supplies of Covid-19 vaccines without any bank guarantees.
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. Reports also said that the payment will be released at the earliest.
The decision 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. The SII is the largest vaccine manufacturer in the world. The company will also manufacture the Novavax vaccine in India.
SII will supply 200 million doses and Bharat Biotech is to supply another 90 million doses to the government by July at a pre-agreed rate of Rs 150 per dose.