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“Conditional permission has been granted to the Chinese vaccine for its emergency use in Nepal,” said Santosh K.C, a senior official in the Department of Drug Administration.
The Cabinet meeting decided to buy two million doses of Covishield vaccine from the Serum Institute of India by sending 80 percent as down payment,” Health Minister Hridayesh Tripathi told the Post. We have secured the vaccines at $4 per dose.
The total cost of the two million doses will be approximately Rs936 million. The down payment will be Rs748.8 million.
Officials at the Ministry of Health had told the Post earlier in the day that they had been unable to sign a deal with the vaccine manufacturer to buy two million doses of the Covishield shot, as the latter had asked for payment in advance, given the high value commodity the vaccine has become.
“We have to pay at least 80 percent of the total cost in advance for the vaccine,” Dr Roshan Pokhrel, chief specialist at the Health Ministry, had told the Post earlier on Tuesday. “But our existing rules do not allow us to pay the price in advance.”
The law governing the procurement of goods and services by the government is the Public Procurement Act, as per which there must be an open bidding for procuring items worth over Rs2 million.
In some special or emergency cases, according to government officials, the Cabinet can give approval, in principle, to sign a government-to-government deal, under which the government of the country where the company is based can vouch guarantee to facilitate the process.