Finance Ministry on Monday gave in-principle approval to sanction supply credit to Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India (SII) to ramp up COVID-19 vaccine production, reports said.
The credit will be sanctioned to the nodal ministers in charge for COVID-19 who will then pass it on to the two companies to ramp up vaccine production, reports said.
The ministry has cleared Rs 3000 crore credit for Serum Institute and Rs 1500 crore to Bharat Biotech.
Reports added that payment will be released at the earliest.
Earlier this month, Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India had asked the government for financial assistance to ramp up vaccine production.
Furthermore, the Central government said on Monday that everyone above 18 years of age will be eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19 from May 1.
The Centre liberalised the vaccination drive to allow states, private hospitals and industrial establishments to procure the doses directly from manufacturers.
Under the third phase of the national vaccination drive commencing next month, the vaccine manufacturers would supply 50 percent of their monthly Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) released doses to the central government and would be free to supply the remaining 50 percent doses to state governments and in the open market.
(With inputs from PTI)
(Edited by : Aditi Gautam)
First Published: IST