The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved a proposal in principle to follow direct procurement method (DPM) for procuring Covid-19 vaccines since it is a matter of urgent state necessity.
The approval came from a meeting of the committee held virtually on Wednesday with Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anisul Huq in the chair.
While briefing the media after the meeting, Cabinet Division Additional Secretary Dr Abu Saleh Mostafa Kamal said any public procurement proposal of over Tk5 crore in a year would come before the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs.
"Since a huge quantity of Covid-19 vaccines would have to be procured at a time to face the pandemic, the meeting approved in principle the proposal to follow the DPM method for procuring the vaccines," he added.
After the weekly Cabinet meeting on Monday, Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam informed the media that the government would initially provide three crore doses of Covid-19 vaccine among the people free of cost alongside taking tougher actions to compel the people to wear facemasks to check further spread of the novel coronavirus in the country.
Health Secretary Md Abdul Mannan expected that Bangladesh would get the first batch of vaccine in February 2021 from India's Serum Institute.
Anwarul also said the prime minister has already given her consent to procure three crore doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from the Serum Institute of India (SII) while the government has already allocated Tk735.77 crore to purchase the vaccines.