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Budget 2021 is about govt role as facilitator, private sector as key driver of growth: FM Nirmala Sitharaman

Sitharaman underlined that the nation's growing and aspiring needs and demands across the various sectors cannot be served just by the state government and central governments put together.

February 21, 2021 / 05:58 PM IST
Budget 2021-22 | File image: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Budget 2021-22 | File image: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday said the Union Budget 2021-22 is about the role of government as a facilitator and the private sector as a key driver of economic growth, without which the country would be losing a big opportunity.

"The most important component or input required here is the participation of the private sector. Unless the private sector is energised enough, unless it is facilitated enough, India is just losing a very big opportunity," Sitharaman said during the interactive session organised by the Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

Sitharaman underlined that the nation's growing and aspiring needs and demands across the various sectors cannot be served just by the state government and central governments put together. According to the Finance Minister, the coronavirus vaccine was a big example of government-private partnership.

COVID-19 vaccination drive: Azim Premji urges Centre to involve private players

"To be a world leader with that specific India touch,which is more humane, more about bringing everybody together, which is peaceful, which actually wishes that the world progresses for everybody's good. If that is the way India approaches its responsibility, that will be incomplete unless the government plays the role, it is expected to play the facilitator and unless the private sector plays the role of a key driver. So that's the message this budget has talked about," the Finance Minister told the gathering.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Sitharaman noted that the budget was about setting the path for the decade. She pointed out that the stimulus package, which largely depended on the governments borrowing, was aimed at sectors depended on the governments borrowing, which provided the multiplying effect such as infrastructure,the budget funding, where public expenditure was going to be the budget funding, undertaken. Observing that the Centre has clearly funded stimulus with the borrowed money, she said the government was aware of fiscal management.

"Debt to GDP, another indicators which are important for a healthy economy, has to be carefully managed in such a way that sooner in a sense, in a reasonable time frame, the fiscal deficit will also be kept under the healthy level and not let unattended for decades together," Sitharaman pointed out.

The Finance Minister said the government wanted uninterrupted yet sustainable growth. The event saw a galaxy of tycoons and industry leaders such as Wipro founder Azim Premji, former director of Infosys T V Mohandas Pai, noted cardiac surgeon Dr Devi Prasad Shetty and president and chairman of Volvo Group India Kamal Bali Premji, in his speech, emphasised on taking along the private sector in the COVID-19 vaccination drive to speed up the inoculation process whereas Pai said the nation wants the companies to set up their industries within the country instead of becoming a digital colony.

He also suggested giving away tablets to the children from weaker sections so that they were not left out in the 'Digital India' mission.
PTI

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