New Delhi, 22 April 2021: Provision of oxygen, vaccines and their logistics to people affected by coronavirus is being ensured, given the recent surge in cases of COVID-19 pandemic across the country. This was stated by Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman in a virtual session organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry here today.

Speaking at the event, Smt. Sitharaman mentioned that the Government is reviewing and monitoring the situation regularly and working arduously for a better co-ordination between States, hospitals and suppliers of oxygen and vaccines to match the demand and supply in the country.

The Finance Minister stated that the Prime Minister himself is monitoring the situation with eminent doctors and vaccine manufacturers. The import of vaccines, certified by international bodies has been allowed in India;  support is being extended to manufacturers by the Government by way of giving advances and vaccination drive against coronavirus has been allowed for people aged 18 years and above from 1st May 2021, She added.

Smt. Sitharaman said a slew of announcements have been made in regard to the drug Remdesivir and custom duty has been waived and quantity for export has been held back for use in country considering the requirement of Remdesivir injection.

These announcements are expected to increase the availability of the injection, the Finance Minister said.

For oxygen supply, the government is identifying idle manufacturing capacities to match the demand and supply in the country, Smt. Sitharaman said.

Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman said that the way forward to tackle the current situation is through micro containment zone so that life and livelihood can be protected.

Sh. Sanjay Aggarwal, President, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that the Central Government had last year acted swiftly and extended the timelines for compliances under various corporate laws and the same steps and support measures are required this year also.

The Union Finance Minister assured that the valuable inputs received from PHD chambers of Commerce and Industry will be considered for the industrial and economic growth of the country.

Former presidents, senior managing committee members and members from industry also participated in the virtual interactive session with the Union Finance Minister