Proposal for direct procurement of Covid-19 vaccine gets clearance

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Dhaka, Dec 02: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Wednesday approved in principle a proposal of the Health Services Division to procure Covid-19 vaccine directly from any organisation through negotiations without following any bidding process.

“The Cabinet body approved a proposal of the Health Services Division [under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare] to procure Covid-19 vaccine worth over Tk 5 crore by applying the direct procurement method, “said Md Abu Saleh, additional secretary of the Cabinet Division.

He was briefing reporters on the committee decision after its meeting.

Abu Saleh, however, said: “This committee has just given the approval in principle to meet the emergency needs of the state. But when any procurement deal will be final, it’ll come to the Cabinet Committee on Public Purchase for its final approval.”

He said the approval was given in compliance with the Provision 76 of the Public Procurement Rule-2008.

Law Minister Anisul Haque presided over the meeting in absence of the committee head Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal.

Earlier on November 5 last, the government signed a tripartite memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Serum Institute of India (SII) and Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd to collect the three crore doses of the Oxford-AtraZeneca SARS-CoV-B2, AZD1222 vaccine.

Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam on Monday said the vaccines, being procured, to be provided free of cost.

He said a programme is being developed to select the priority recipients of the vaccines following the WHO protocol.

The government will initially provide three crore free doses of Covid-19 vaccine to the citizens of the country.

The government will procure the three crore doses of Oxford-AtraZeneca vaccine from the Serum Institute of India (SII).

The Finance Ministry on November 16 initially allocated some Tk 735.77 crore against the Health Service Division to procure the Covid-19 vaccine. “The draft of a tripartite procurement agreement has already been prepared,” he said.