NEW DELHI: Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said that the government is constantly discussing and engaging with the stakeholders to ensure that the revival of the economy is adequately supported.
“We are also reviving it (pandemic-affect economy) in the context of, God forbid, a possible third wave. We do not want the third wave. We can’t wish it away, however….We are taking every step that is required to ramp up vaccination, give the country the possible scientifically tested immunity, a kind of shield with which even a variant can be faced with enough antibodies,” she said.
She has asked all stakeholders to conclude Rs 50,000 crore Loan Guarantee Scheme for Covid-affected sectors, aimed at shoring up healthcare infra in non-metros in time to deal with any third wave. Observing that increasing the medical capacities in the rural areas as well as tier-2 and -3 towns are very critical, the finance minister said overall improvement in healthcare infrastructure is also going to help revival of the economy.
“We need this (scheme) to be done within time. We need this to be done all over the country, especially in those parts where we have less medical infra, and therefore what I would think is the department of financial services together with the industry stakeholders and the banks…I think there needs to be a lot more information sharing in local areas.” She emphasised the need to sensitise all stakeholders — banks, medical fraternity, pharma industry or medical devices players at the regional level and hold awareness campaigns.