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New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday said that vaccination is the only medicine to boost the economy because it allows people to do business or farmers to cultivate their produce. She further added that 73 crore people in the country have taken the dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

She said: “The vaccination drive is going on smoothly in the country and so far 73 crore people have taken free doses of vaccine. Today, because of the vaccination programme, people have been able to do their business, buy products to run business, boost the economy. Therefore, vaccination is the only medicine to fight with this virus to boost the economy”.

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Sitharaman made those comments while delivering her address at the centenary celebrations of Tamilnad Mercantile Bank on Sunday. 

The Finance Minister said, “We all are praying that the third wave of COVID-19 does not come. Suppose the third wave comes, everybody has to think about the availability of hospitals and even if there is a hospital, does it have an ICU and if there is an ICU, does it have oxygen? For all these questions, the Ministry has announced a scheme allowing hospitals to ramp up their expansion”.

Sitharaman said that hospitals located in rural areas were able to do expansion work by availing the schemes announced by the Ministry. She added: “Through the report by Tamilnad Mercantile Bank, we are able to see that they take the schemes announced by the Ministry to the beneficiaries (hospitals). It is necessary in today’s scenario. Not only public sector banks but private sector banks should also follow it”.

Earlier, praising the Nadar community for setting up the bank in May 1921 in Tuticorin, the Minister said that today Tamilnad Mercantile Bank has gained “universal approval” and is present in all the 26 states and four Union Territories.

She said that even a famous Greek writer who has written a lot on matters of the global economy had mentioned the Nadar community in his book. 

Sitharaman said the bank is taking cautious steps in its approach to do business. She said that “by strictly following the basic principles, the bank was able to deal with any kind of crisis and has managed to run for one hundred years”.

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