Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Monday that countries must share vaccine-based technologies with each other. The FM said that there is no space for vaccine nationalism. She also said that the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement must be looked at amid the ravaging coronavirus pandemic.
"Countries will have to be open about sharing vaccine-based technologies. The TRIPS agreement will have to be looked at in the context of the pandemic. There cannot be any more vaccine nationalism, countries will have to be flexible about it," she said at the annual meet of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The TRIPS agreement is a legal pact between the member nations of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) that establishes minimum standards for regulation by national governments of different forms of intellectual property. The agreement has been in force from January 1995.
Sitharaman, during the virtual seminar, said that there is a need to have a global multilateral approach to deal with the pandemic. "The future, as I said, will have to be based on principles of openness, transparency, fairness, sustainability and inclusiveness," said Sitharaman about the post-pandemic world.
Talking about the government's efforts to keep the wheels of the economy running during the pandemic, Sitharaman said that the government extended financial assistance to various sectors. She called MSMEs the backbone of the economy and said that the government has extended financial assistance in terms of Rs 3 lakh crore loan guarantee to help them.
As regards global climate action, she said, India is committed to all the Paris agreement-based commitments and it is well on a course to fulfill all those commitments.