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HomeIndiaThose questioning Covid vaccine exports are short-sighted, 'really irresponsible': Jaishankar

Those questioning Covid vaccine exports are short-sighted, ‘really irresponsible’: Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said India cannot just expect raw materials for the vaccines from other countries and then not send them the final product.

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New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar Monday slammed those questioning India’s export of Covid-19 vaccines, calling them “short-sighted” and also “irresponsible and non-serious” people.

The minister said India cannot just expect raw materials, for the vaccine, from other countries and then not send them the final product.

In a stern retort to those who are questioning the government’s ‘Vaccine Maitri’ initiative, the minister, speaking at an industry event, said: “I would say the blame-game wallahs will have their attitude and their approach. As serious people, let’s look at it. Today, as foreign minister, I am pushing other countries, particularly some big countries, saying look please keep the raw materials flowing for vaccines to be made in India. Can I, on one hand, go around the world and tell people ‘guys keep your supply chains flowing towards me and I am asking you for raw material but I’m not going to give you the vaccine’?”

Under the Narendra Modi government’s ‘Vaccine Maitri’ initiative, India has exported over 66 million (6.6 crore) Covid-19 vaccines to 94 countries as of date.

“Today your largest vaccine under production is an international product. It’s a co-creation and co-production… It’s not that we are not prioritising our people,” he added. “As things got tough, we actually spoke to the world very honestly and said look we tried, we’ve tried our best to live up to our commitments, contractual commitments to producers, COVAX and GAVI commitments. But right now please understand that I have this very serious situation at home and I think most countries understand.”

He added: “But if you get into this why are you exporting to abroad at all? Then somebody else will ask, why am I exporting to India? That is so short-sighted. Only really irresponsible people, really non-serious can make that kind of argument. And by the way, there are some around us as you would have noticed.”

Also read: WTO to again discuss Covid vaccine IPR waiver proposal by India, South Africa on Thursday

‘Business with China won’t progress unless border is calm’

Jaishankar Monday also informed the Indian industry that business with China will not progress unless there is peace at the border areas.

“We’ve had peace and tranquility on the border. I am not suggesting that we solved the boundary dispute,” he said. “I’m not thinking that this is something easy or that it was round the corner. We’ve been very honest by the complexity of it.”

The minister added: “The fact is that the rest of our relationship got built because of an assumption that neither party would use force, neither party would threaten the other. We had different agreements that translated those good intentions into commitments.”

He, however, said all that changed last year when the Chinese brought in an “enormous” amount of troops at the Line of Actual Control in Eastern Ladakh “with no provocation”.

“This is not rocket science. You cannot completely disrupt the peace and tranquility on the border and then carry on with the rest of the relationship,” he added. “I’ve been saying for the last year and will continue to say it. It has not changed. If this relationship is to progress I must have a return to peace and tranquility on the border. There are no two ways about it.”

Jaishankar also explained to the Indian industry that India becoming part of the Quad, or the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, is an attempt to do more business rather than be part of any “alliance”.

He said India became part of the Quad to do more business with “like-minded countries” that New Delhi has a “great deal of comfort” with and this also includes the UK and France.

The Quad consists of India, the US, Japan and Australia.

India did not have ‘fair growth’ despite rising GDP

Jaishankar also said India has not had “fair growth” despite registering growth in GDP numbers even as he batted against globalisation.

“We haven’t had fair growth. GDP numbers look great but GDP numbers don’t translate necessarily into the right employment numbers,” he said. “So you had a growing employment problem precisely because globalisation skewed your economic fairness and economic opportunities within the country.”

He also said that is the reason why the government came out with the ‘Atmanirbhar’ concept.

(Edited by Arun Prashanth)

Also read: Quad is not ‘Asian NATO’, India never had ‘NATO mentality’, Jaishankar says


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  1. Let the minister share how many vaccines out of the 66 million exported were under legal contractual commitments. And if most of the vaccines were under legal paid contractual commitments, then there is no need for the government to be arrogant, pompous and portray as if it has done a big favour to the world!

  2. Sure, and ofcourse there are examples of completely responsible govt functionaries like our PM who is lebraying huge attendance in WB rallies, Shri Shah who is still out there campaigning, and cabinet ministers who are advising people to use less medical oxygen for Covid treatment as if it’s ice cream and people should have it in moderation.

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