Economy at Risk Due to ‘Historic Mess’ in Vaccine Policy

Over one crore salaried employees have lost their jobs this year.

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Video Editor: Ashutosh Bhardwaj

The second wave of coronavirus was so severe that people were busy saving their lives, while concerns about the economy and GDP took a backseat. But lives and economy are interlinked, and both are dependent on vaccination.

Uday Kotak, chairperson of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), stressed on the need to print notes to save the economy. He said, if banks don’t step up now then when will they help. “Spend one percent of GDP for cash to poor and provide support to small businesses,” Kotak said.

This can be done by simplifying the vaccine policy. India’s vaccine management has proved to be a historic mess. Initially, assurance was given that young Indian entrepreneurs, under Aatmanirbhar Bharat, will produce enough vaccines for the country and even export to other countries. However, no information regarding their production schedule was made public. The government has not disclosed how many vaccines it ordered and how much has been paid in advance.

Vaccine centres of state governments are facing shortage of stock but private sectors are able to buy vaccines and are inoculating its employees. This has created an inequality, where poor people will have to wait longer to be vaccinated.

The pandemic has pushed crores of middle class people below the poverty line. Over one crore salaried employees have lost their jobs this year. Urban unemployment rate is at its highest. The GDP forecast for the current financial year has been reduced from 12% to 9%.

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