ISLAMABAD: A technical supplementary grant (TSG) of Rs2.376 billion has been approved by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet to procure vaccines for immunisation of children below the age of one year against 10 vaccine preventable diseases (VPDs) in the on-going fiscal year.
The Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination (NHSR&C) moved a summary to the ECC and stated that any interruption/break in the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) may lead to re-emergence of these diseases in the form of increased mortality and morbidity.
The Health Ministry further said that the EPI is a high-priority initiative of the government, which aims to immunize more than seven million children under one-year of age against 10 VPDs.
In the last fiscal year 2020-21, the provincial governments transferred their shares to the federal government’s non-food account for centralised procurement of vaccines on their behalf in the light of decision taken by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on 8th March 2016.
Total vaccines and syringes cost was estimated at Rs7.648 billion and the Punjab government made contribution of Rs4.229 billion or 53.2 percent, followed by the Sindh government Rs1.08 billion or 22.7 percent, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa was Rs1.232 billion or 15.5 percent, and Balochistan government Rs381.651 million or 4.8 percent.
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The procurement process was completed in time and agreements for supply of vaccines were made with the successful bidders.
However, only an amount of Rs5.266 billion could be utilised out of the total allocation of Rs7.648 billion against the supply received during the last financial year 2020-21 and payment for the supply of financial year 2021-22 was not made in advance to avoid any risk of loss.
Remaining fund of Rs2.376 billion was surrendered, said the Ministry of NHSR&C, adding that the Finance Division was requested to allow an equal amount of Rs2.376 billion against the surrendered fund (being provincial contribution) during the financial year 2021-22, in addition to the fresh allocation/shares to be received from the provinces.
On June 30, 2021, the Finance Division advised the Ministry of NHSR&C to take up the matter during the fiscal year 2021-22 for supplementary grant/TSG.
The ECC, on the request of the Ministry NHSR&C, approved TSG of Rs2.376 billion to the EPI under the administrative control of the Ministry of Health for the current financial year 2021-22.