Chennai, May 27 (PTI) Chief Minister M K Stalin on Thursday urged the Centre to hand over its vaccine manufacturing facility near here to the Tamil Nadu government on lease to commence vaccine production.
The modern and high capacity vaccine manufacturing facility, the Integrated Vaccine Complex, is lying unutilised, Stalin said in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Centre has already invested around Rs 700 crore in this manufacturing unit which is almost complete but has been lying unutilised for want of additional funds.
'The recent attempt to find a private partner to run IVC has also not borne fruit as there were no bidders for it.' The IVC is in Chengelpet and it was set up by HLL Biotech and it is under the Union Health Ministry and the CM visited the facility on Tuesday.
It was absolutely necessary to ramp up domestic vaccine manufacturing capacity, which is in sync with the PM's vision of 'self sufficient India' and also mass vaccination is the most potent weapon in the fight against the pandemic, he said.
The CM said, 'I am very keen that this modern facility must be made functional immediately, in the interest of our state as well our nation.' 'This would substantially enhance the nation's vaccine production capacity and cater to the vaccine requirements of the country as a whole and Tamil Nadu in particular.' Stalin proposed that the assets of the IVC may be handed over to the state government on lease, without any past liabilities and with full operational freedom.
Tamil government would identify a suitable private partner immediately and make all efforts to commence vaccine production at the earliest, Stalin assured.
A suitable financial arrangement for Centre to recover a part of its investment could be subsequently worked out after commencement of operations, he said.
'I request your kind intervention to immediately hand over the assets of IVC owned by HBL to government of Tamil Nadu so that the facility can be put to use at the earliest,' he added.
Stalin thanked the Centre for the support extended to the state in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
DMK leader and MP, T R Baalu told reporters in Delhi that he met Industry Minister Piyush Goyal in this connection and Mansukh Mandaviya (Minister of State, Chemical and Fertilisers) was also present during discussion.
The Centre has said it would revert to the TN government in about a week on the matter, Baalu, flanked by TN Industries Minster Thangam Thennarasu, said. PTI VGN BN BALA BN BALA