TNIE Expressions | ‘Involve private sector in vaccination drive’

The government should rope in the private sector for Covid vaccine distribution, according to India’s top industrialists.Talking to TNIE Editorial Director Prabhu Chawla on Thursday, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) president Uday Kotak said he has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on this.

TVS group chairman Venu Srinivasan, CII director-general Chandrajit Banerjee, and Bajaj Finserv MD Sanjiv Bajaj also sat down with Chawla as part of TNIE’s Expressions, a series of live web casts with people who matter.

“At CII, we have constituted a task force and we are closely interacting with the government on the need of the involvement of corporates in the process. We have to expedite the vaccination. During my interaction with Serum Institute, I learnt that although we are supplying vaccines fast, they are keen on distributing faster,” Kotak said.

Banerjee said vaccinating industrial workers should also be a priority of the government. While terming FM Nirmala Sitharaman’s budget bold and transparent, the industrialists said big capex and higher allocations towards infrastructure and health sectors will provide the much-needed boost to the ailing economy. Srinavasan said fiscal deficit should not be a matter of concern and the objective should be long-term growth. 

“For years, we have been crying hoarse over increasing investments in infrastructure and this certainly is a phenomenal aspect of the Budget. There are some sectors deeply impacted like hospitality, tourism and aviation. We are expecting some measures in these areas.

Infrastructure investments bring long-term returns. One has to remember, we are not a working-capital economy. We need infrastructure development,” Srinavasan said. Bajaj said a growth-oriented policy will help the financial services sector achieve strong double-digit growth.