Budget 2021: Rs 35,000 Cr allocated for COVID-19 vaccination expenditure in FY22

The country launched its COVID-19 vaccination drive from January 16 in what Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called the world's largest inoculation programme with priority to be given to nearly three crore healthcare and frontline workers.
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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday provided Rs 35,000 crore towards COVID-19 vaccination in 2021-22 fiscal.

"I have provided Rs 35,000 crore for COVID-19 vaccine in this year 2021-22. I'm committed to provide further funds if required. The Budget outlay for health and well being is Rs 2.23 lakh crore in 2021-22 as against BE of Rs 94,452 crore and marks an increase of 137 percent," she said while presenting 2021-22 Budget in the Lok Sabha.

India had earlier in January approved two vaccines -- Oxford's Covishield manufactured by SII and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin -- for restricted emergency use. The country launched its COVID-19 vaccination drive from January 16, 2021, in what Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called the world's largest inoculation programme with priority to be given to nearly three crore healthcare and frontline workers.

According to the COVID-19 Vaccine Operational Guidelines, the shots will be offered first to an estimated one crore healthcare workers, and around two crore frontline workers, and then to persons above 50 years of age, followed by persons younger than 50 years of age with associated comorbidities based on evolving pandemic situation.

Nirmala Sitharaman read out the Union Budget speech in the Lok Sabha from a tablet today instead of a conventional paper document.

Presenting the Budget for 2021-22, Sitharaman stood in the second row of the Treasury Benches.

This time, the Budget will be a paperless document and it would be available to parliamentarians and the public online.

As the finance minister was presenting the Union Budget, Harsimrat Kaur Badal of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Bhagwant Mann of the Aam Aadmi Party, and Hanuman Beniwal of the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party registered their protest inside the House on the three new farm legislations by holding placards demanding that the Centre take back the "black" laws.

For YourStory's multimedia coverage of Budget 2021, visit YourStory's Budget 2021 page or budget.yourstory.com.

Edited by Megha Reddy