‘Is his boss listening?’, asks Congress' Jairam Ramesh after Nitin Gadkari bats for more licenses for COVID-19 vaccines

Congress leader and former Union minister Jairam Ramesh on Wednesday took a dig at the Central government after Union Minister Nitin Gadkari suggested that more pharma companies should be allowed to make Covid-19 vaccines in the country.

Taking to Twitter, Jairam Ramesh said: “But is his Boss listening? This is what Dr. Manmohan Singh had suggested on April 18th.”

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday said that more pharma companies should be allowed to manufacture the COVID-19 vaccine in the country during the pandemic to scale up production.

While addressing a meeting via video conferencing Gadkari said, "If the demand of vaccine is more than the supply, it creates the problem. So, instead of one company, let 10 more companies be given the license to manufacture the vaccine." "There are 2-3 laboratories in every state. They should be given the formula to produce the COVID-19 vaccines. They can give royalty," Gadkari said.

"Let them supply in the country and later if there is surplus, they may export. It can be done in 15-20 days," he added.

Currently, only two firms - Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India - are manufacturing COVID vaccines in the country and only three vaccines have so far been approved to be sold in India --- COVAXIN, COVESHIELD and Sputnik V. Many states have complained about the shortage of COVID-19 vaccines.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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