Indian industry urges PLI-like scheme for Covid vaccine manufacture

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A man showing his phone display in Kerala. Unsplash photo

Indian industry urged the government to announce Production Linked Incentives (PLI) for vaccine manufacture similar to those announced earlier for ten other sectors in order to deal with the crisis posed by a second wave of Covid.

“We need to work on a mission mode to substantially ramp up Covid vaccine manufacturing and supply,” the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) said in a statement.

Many states in India have been facing a shortage of Covid vaccines over the past few days, including areas in Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Bihar. This has compelled state governments to scale down their daily vaccination targets.

The government recently approved the use of Russia’s Sputnik V Vaccine for emergency use, which is expected to accelerate India’s Covid vaccination drive. However, FICCI highlighted that “we need to be mindful that this is yet not sufficient.”

“Further, with the current strategy and vaccination rate, we would be missing vaccinating our super-spreaders of the age group 18-45 years, who also form the majority of our workforce needed for sustaining economic activities,” it added.

Further, it said the government also needs to provide for immediate and sufficient grants and subsidies, through India’s Covid Funds, for those manufacturers that are already developing or manufacturing Covid vaccines in the country.

“The vaccines that are proven and successful in other markets should be encouraged to be brought into India at the earliest, in order to maintain our supply chains,” said FICCI.

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