India had supplied 63.9 million doses of made-in-India COVID vaccine to 80 countries, Nirmala Sitharaman said

India’s quick response to limit the impact of the pandemic and to undertake massive vaccination drives are resulting in a 'V- shape recovery’, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Tuesday.

Highlighting that the world’s largest vaccine drive by India was underway, she said India had also supplied 63.9 million doses of made-in-India COVID vaccine to 80 countries, including 10.4 million doses of the vaccine as a grant, she said.

Sitharaman was addressing the 6th Annual Meeting of Board of Governors of New Development Bank (NDB) through video-conference. The meeting, with the theme “New Development Paradigms: The Evolution of Infrastructure”, was also attended by Governors/Alternate Governors of Brazil, China, Russia and South Africa.

Acknowledging the Bank’s achievements and progress over the last six years, she highlighted NDB's role in countercyclical lending through a $10 billion Emergency Assistance Programme for supporting the member countries in fighting the COVID pandemic.

According to a press release issued by the Union Finance Ministry, Sitharaman also stressed the need for NDB to maintain and improve upon the ratings assigned by international rating agencies through adequate capitalisation, high quality governance and prudent management.

The Finance Minister encouraged the NDB to facilitate private sector participation, explore more innovative financing structures, discover co-financing opportunities with other MDBs, develop a pipeline of bankable projects, and promote environmental and social safeguards to enhance the sustainability of infrastructure.

Referring to infrastructure financing, she mentioned that India was going to set up a new Development Finance Instituion (DFI) with initial paid-up capital of around $3 billion with a lending target of $69 billion in next three years.

She also suggested NDB to develop a synergistic relationship with these institutions that share its development priorities to achieve greater results, the release said.

A multilateral development bank, NDB was set up by the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) in 2014 with the objective of mobilizing resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in the BRICS as well as other EMDCs of the world.

The Bank was operationalised in 2015, with its headquarters in Shanghai, China. NDB has so far approved 18 projects of India for an amount of $6,924 million.