Assuring the industry of full government support, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday urged the industry to wait and watch for next few days to assess the situation amid the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic.
Along with the new vaccination guidelines and with the five-fold strategy adopted in handling the Covid cases — test, track, treat, Covid-19 protocols and vaccination — there will be a sense of reassurance, Sitharaman said.
“With all these steps, we should hope to see a positive change in the way the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic is moving. Industry is watching out and I would want you (industry) to keenly observe what is going on and we are together with the industry in (fighting) this (pandemic). I am sure all of us together will understand how best to now ramp-up and sustain the growth momentum which all of us are keen to see between the last quarter and this quarter,” Sitharaman said in a virtual address to the Ficci National Executive Committee Members. “I would request the industry to watch the next few days a bit more carefully, and then assess for yourself what this quarter is going to be like,” the finance minister exhorted.
Separately addressing more than 150 senior industry captains in a virtual interaction organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the minister assured ramp up in supply of oxygen and remdesivir to states. She also reiterated the importance of micro-containment policies over lockdown.
Elaborating on the recent announcements on the vaccination, Sitharaman said that the CII’s suggestions on opening up of the vaccination to all adults, allowing industry to vaccinate its employees and their families and allowing vaccine imports have all been accepted in the policy. The government has also cleared an advance payment of `4,600 crore to Serum Institute of India and Bharat Bio Tech, to help them ramp up capacities, she added.