Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has said that if vaccines are not provided as per the agreement with the Serum Institute of India, Bangladesh's advance down payment will be refunded. However, he did not say when Bangladesh will ask for the money back.
After a virtual meeting of the Cabinet Committee on public procurement on Wednesday, the Finance Minister said in response to a question from reporters, "We still do not know for sure that we will not get the vaccines from the Serum Institute. When we finally find out, we will probably get our money back. No country can cheat another country out of money this way."
"We did not pay Serum in advance on the basis of verbal discussions. There has been a written agreement, which all parties have an obligation to abide by. They had an obligation to supply vaccines to Bangladesh as per the agreement because vaccines are now linked to human life and death," he added.
Asked if there was an opportunity to claim compensation in the agreement signed with the Serum Institute, he said, "I don't know. However, all the conditions of an international agreement are included in this agreement."
"We will no longer rely on a single source for vaccines. We are trying to source quality vaccines from other companies and countries," he said.