The finance ministry in its monthly economic report has said the vaccination exercise needs to be speeded up for a quicker recovery of the economy.
The report for May said the government must set as its paramount objective the vaccination of 70 crore people with at least the first dose by September. This will boost consumer and investor confidence.
It even suggested vaccination in 24×7 shifts in August and September when supply was expected to increase significantly and the government may achieve the target of 1 crore shots a day.
With the peaking of the second wave in the first half of May and the localised restrictions adopted to combat its spread, the economic impact of the virus is expected to be confined to the first quarter .
The report said a healthy monsoon bodes well for farming and the softer lockdown by states is expected to translate into a “softer economic shock” in sectors such as manufacturing and construction.
UP favours rate cut
The Uttar Pradesh government was in favour of reducing the duty rate on Covid equipment, state finance minister Suresh Kumar Khanna said.
Khanna is in the Group of Ministers to set GST rates on Covid essentials, including vaccines. He said he was expressing the views of his government as he himself was not in a position to comment being part of the ministerial panel.
“However, the Uttar Pradesh government is in favour of tax rate cuts to facilitate patients,” Khanna said.
Senior BJP leader Sushil Modi has suggested levying 0.1 per cent each of central GST and state GST on vaccines, oxygen ventilators and other essential medical devices.