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  • Last Update : 12:37 am

Finance Minister: Will gladly take the first vaccine jab

  • Published at 09:09 pm January 21st, 2021
AHM Mustafa Kamal
File photo of Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal Courtesy

The government approves a Tk1,271.55-crore proposal to import 30 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine from India

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has said he would gladly receive the first shot of the Covid-19 vaccine when the vaccination program kicks off in Bangladesh.

“Considering my age, I will definitely take that vaccine,” he said on Thursday when asked about people’s apprehension about the vaccine, BSS reports.

The finance minister made the statement while speaking to reporters during a virtual briefing after an online meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Public Purchase.

The committee meeting approved a proposal of the Health Services Division to import 30 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine from the Serum Institute of India Pvt Ltd, UNB reports.

Although the overall import cost is expected to be Tk1,271.55 crore, the government has not elaborated on how much each dose would cost.

Finance Minister Kamal, who presided over the meeting, asked the journalists to contact the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for the information.

"The approval was given under a direct procurement method for emergency need," he added.

Kamal said once all eligible citizens of the country were vaccinated, they would feel good and would be able to give their utmost efforts towards advancing the country’s economy, BSS reports.

Replying to another question, he said if the private companies were allowed to import vaccines, they would have to arrange their own financing.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved direct purchase of Covid-19 vaccine, in principle, exempting it from regular purchase rules, UNB reports.

Also Read - Gift vaccine from India handed over to Bangladesh

Seven more proposals approved

The Cabinet Committee on Public Purchase also approved seven more proposals from different ministries, UNB reports.

As per three separate proposals placed by the Industries Ministry, state-owned Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC) will procure some 85,000 tons of urea fertilizer.

Of these, 60,000 tons of bagged granular urea will be procured from Karnaphuli Fertilizer Company (Kafco) in two lots. Each 30,000-ton lot will cost Tk66.29 crore, while each ton will cost $260.125.

The remaining 25,000-ton bulk prilled urea will be imported from Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) at the cost of Tk56.01 crore.

Also approved was a proposal of the Roads and Highways Department to award a Tk244.5 crore contract to Joint Venture of National Development Engineering Ltd, MM Builders and Engineers Ltd, and Rana Builders Pvt Ltd to construct three bridges on Dhaka-Aricha Highway at Aminbazar, Salehpur and Nayarhat areas.

Two separate proposals of the Ministry of Shipping also received the nod.

Of these, Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) will procure eight coastal sea trucks from Ananda Shipyard and Three Angles Marine Limited at a cost of Tk132.01 crore, while three modern inland passenger vessels will be procured by the same authority from Three Angle Marines Limited at a cost of Tk142.5 crore.

The cabinet committee approved a proposal of the Public Works Department to award a contract to Padma Associates  and  Engineers Ltd, to build a 20-storey residential building at Rajarbagh Police Lines. The project cost is estimated at Tk80.24 crore.

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