‘Red-tapism and licence raj under Modi’s rule’: SII Chairman Cyrus Poonawalla

Dr. Cyrus Poonawalla spoke at the event where he received the Lokmanya Tilak National Award instituted by the Lokmanya Tilak Trust.

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On Friday, the Chairman of Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII), Dr Cyrus Poonawalla, recalled the hardships faced by the industry to secure permission as well as harassment from bureaucrats 50 years ago while saying that red-tapism and licence raj had come down under the rule Modi-led government.

Furthermore, he said that in the past, he had to fall at the feet of bureaucrats and drug controllers for the purpose of getting permission.

Poonawalla stated, “Serum Institute was founded in 1966 the morning after my marriage with Villoo, my dear late wife, to whom I dedicate this award. Fifty years ago, the industry had to face hardships in getting basic facilities like power, water, in getting permission from bureaucrats. It had to face harassment from bureaucrats…I was not supposed to say this.”

However, according to the Chairman, the situation had changed. The reason why the launch of SII-manufactured Covishield was quick was the forthcoming grant or permission as well as the encouragement to industries. “We have got a drug controller, which response in the evening even after office hours. There is no need for ‘maska polish’ now”, he added.

Former Union Minister and senior leader of Congress Sushil Kumar Shinde lauded the Chairman for his incredible work and said that the SII-manufactured COVID-19 vaccine was saving lakhs of lives.