Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced Rs 900 crore funding for research and development of COVID-19 vaccine in the country.
“Rs 900 crore provided for COVID Suraksha Mission for research and development of the Indian COVID vaccine to the Department of Biotechnology,” Sitharaman announced in a press briefing.
The Rs 900 crore funding is part of the Rs 2.65 lakh crore Atmanirbhar Bharat 3.0 stimulus. Apart from vaccine funding, the Finance Minister also made a series of announcements related to employment generation, manufacturing, housing, and research and development for Covid-19 vaccine.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Centre had approved a Rs 2 lakh crore production-linked incentive (PLI) package to boost demand in India. India already has multiple vaccine candidates in the works and they are at different stage of clinical trail. There are three vaccine under trial in India including AstraZeneca-Oxford University’s candidate and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.
Key announcements by Sitharaman:
An additional outlay of Rs 10,000 crores for PM Garib Kalyan Rozgar Yojana in the current financial year, to support rural employment
Every EPFO registered organisations – if they take in new employees or those who had lost jobs b/1 March 1 & Sept 30 – these employees will get benefits.
Income tax relief for developers and home buyers
Rs 18,000 cr to be provided over and above the budget estimate under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana for urban areas
Rs 65,000 crore support for subsidized fertlisers. This will help 140 million farmers.