Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla on Monday lauded Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for the announcements she made in the Union Budget 2021 in order to strengthen the health care sector. Taking to Twitter, Poonawala called the capital set aside for health care sector as the "best investment any country can make".
In a statement, Adar Poonawalla further said, "Globally, spending on healthcare infrastructure and vaccine have given countries and their economies the best bang for their buck. Investments in these areas have prevented hospitalizations and resulted in a healthier and more productive workforce, thereby leading to an efficient economy. Therefore we welcome the FM's emphasis on healthcare spending, and immunization especially for COVID-19 and the pneumococcal vaccines as this will help India recover rapidly from this pandemic. Hopefully, this will also encourage more innovation and expansion in the sector.''
The FM outlined the six pillars on which the Aatmanirbhar sector of Budget 2021 rested - Health and Well-Being, Physical and Financial capital and infrastructure, Inclusive Development for Aspirational India, Reinvigorating Human Capital, Innovation and R&D.
Stressing on the Health Infrastructure while presenting the Union Budget 2021, the finance minister allocated Rs 35,000 crore for the Covid-19 vaccines with an assurance of providing more if required. This year's budget witnessed a rise of 137 percent in the health care sector with the finance minister allocating Rs 2,23,846 crores as against only Rs 94,452 crores of the previous year.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman contended that investment on health infrastructure has increased substantially in this year's union budget with focus mainly on three areas - Preventive health, curative health and strengthening of well-being.
She also announced that the Pneumococcal vaccine which is presently limited to five states nut will be rolled out across the country. The is Pneumococcal vaccine is produced by Serum Institute of India which developed and got the license of the first indigenous Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) from the Government of India during COVID-19 pandemic lock-down in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of 'Atmanirbhar Bharat'.