Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday said vaccination was the only medicine to boost the economy as it allows people to conduct businesses regularly or farmers to carry out farming activity.
“Vaccination programme has been going on smoothly in the country and so far 73 crore people have already received jabs free of charge. Today, through vaccination programme, people were able to conduct business, traders were able to procure products to run businesses, (thereby) boosting economy, or farmers were able to do farming…So, vaccination is the only medicine (to combat the virus, to boost economy)…,” she said. Sitharaman made those comments while delivering an address at the centenary celebrations of Tamilnad Mercantile Bank Sunday.
“All our prayers are not for a third wave (of the Covid-19 virus). Suppose, if it occurs, then one has to think about the availability of hospitals, even if there is an hospital, does it have an ICU and even if there is an ICU, does it have an oxygen support? For all these questions, the Ministry announced a scheme allowing hospitals to ramp up expansion when there was huge impact in the country caused by the second wave (of Covid-19),” she said.
Sitharaman said hospitals located in rural areas were able to take up expansion work by availing the schemes announced by the Ministry, including the “viability gap funding” scheme.
She also said banks, including private sector, should embrace digitisation towards ensuring that government schemes reach the poor.
With PTI inputs