If the Union health ministry fails to procure fresh stocks of vaccines in a couple of months it could possibly fail to supply the states with fresh quota.
Though the health ministry intends to step up the process, things can get tricky as it now will have to re-start the entire process by floating fresh tenders. This could be time consuming.
It was further pointed out if Indian companies run short of a particularly vaccine, the government will have to knock on the doors of multinationals. “For this we need to pay more,” health ministry officials said. Incidentally India is the biggest producer and exporter of these vaccines and drugs.
It may be noted that to facilitate the health ministry in procuring and distributing quality medicines and medical equipment, the Union Cabinet had cleared setting up of CPA in 2011. However, owing to red tapisim and bureaucratic delays, the CPA finally became operative only last year. As for expenditure, government is apparently spending nearly Rs 40 lakhs per month as staff salary for CPA, sources said. Since last July, the government has spent nearly Rs 2.5 crores on salaries and perks for the CPA staff.
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