Finance Minister Sharma approves Rs 5 billion to purchase vaccines

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KATHMANDU, July 14:  The government has granted the permission to the Ministry of Health and Population to spend Rs five billion for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines. Newly appointed Finance Minister Janardan Sharma took a decision to this effect shortly after assuming his office.  

The new government formed under the leadership of Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba on Tuesday announced to ensure COVID-19 vaccines to the all eligible citizens as its very first decision in the office. 

The government has a target of administering the vaccines against coronavirus to one third of population by coming mid-October and to all eligible people by mid-April. 
The COVID-19 inoculation drive has been affected in the absence of the sufficient supplies of the vaccines. The Cabinet meeting held on Tuesday evening agreed to provide risk allowance to front liners (health workers, security personnel , cleaners and so on )during the pandemic within a week. 

The new Finance Minister took decision relating to the guarantee of resources for  liability management under COVID-19 control and prevention. Under this, Rs. 564.157 million will be transferred for the federal hospital and Rs. 373.49 million will be transferred for the hospitals run by the province governments and local levels through the Province Ministry of Social Development.

A decision has been taken to allocate Rs. 961.21 million to federal and private hospitals and Rs. 524.44 million to state and local level hospitals through the Ministry of Social Development for the procurement of health equipment  including HDU, ventilator, ICU to enhance the COVID-19 response capacity of  government and private hospitals, according to  Ministry spokesperson Mahesh Acharya.

After assuming the office, Minister Sharma said that control and prevention of the pandemic and  free-COVID-19 vaccines to all were the priorities of the government and urged the employees to work for the same with dedication. 

As he said, to revive the nation’s economy hit hard by the pandemic is the need of the hour and the government is ready to cooperate with the private sector towards that end.

He said that economic policy capable of addressing the issues of poor, backward and marginalized people was the need of the time. Before assuming office, Finance Minister Sharma had laid a wreath at the Martyrs' Pillar at the CPN (Maoist Center)’s party headquarters, Parisdanda. 
 

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National News Agency, Nepal

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