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Health minister Mansukh Madaviya on driver’s seat: economic revival depends on him

Health minister Mansukh Mandaviya -- the man of the moment

Often one would see in a cricket match that a lower order batsman is promoted up in the batting line up to steer the team to victory. "The newly appointed health minister Mansukh Mandaviya’s situation is a lot like that," an analyst observed.

In fact, India’s economic revival, for the first time, will be driven by the performance of the health and family planning ministry.

The newly appointed Mandaviya and his deputy Bharti Pravin Pawar, will be closely monitored not only within the country but also across the globe.

Needless to say, that Mandaviya is one of the most important members of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet.

Not only do they face the challenge of averting the imminent Covid 19 third wave that could hit India by the end of the year but the duo would also need to ensure that the majority of the citizens are vaccinated amid the emergent new variants of the virus. “Once the Covid 19 situation is under control, we can expect a sustained economic recovery process,” a senior executive with a multinational company told India Narrative.

The Centre has set a target for vaccinating 1 crore people by August.

Also read: After cabinet reshuffle Modi govt shifts gears, focus back on re-booting the economy

Mandaviya and his team have already sprung into action.

Sources said that Modi has “full trust in Mandaviya, who has a rich experience in the field of health and hails from his own state.”

The 49 years old minister, who typically is known for keeping a low profile, has been aggressively trolled on social media for his English language. “Though he has been trolled for his language skills, Mandaviya’s performance will be measured in terms of his handling of the pandemic and the vaccination drive, not on how well he speaks English,” an insider told India Narrative.

Sources also said that several foreign companies are waiting in the wings to invest in India. “But most of them have adopted a wait and watch policy,” one of them said.

“We are not completely out of the woods with the number of active cases showing an increase. We have to avoid a third wave to ensure that the economy picks up steam and for this, the vaccination drive has to be pushed,” Bidisha Ganguly, chief economist of the Confederation of Indian Industry’s (CII) told India Narrative.

Also read: Nirmala unveils Rs 6.29 lakh crore stimulus package to revive economy and fight Covid-19

Mandaviya will also have to focus on the rural areas, where the vaccination drive is yet to pick up steam.

On Sunday morning, the minister in his tweet highlighted that so far 37.60 crore vaccines have been administered, as the country’s caseload stands at 4,54,118.

Mandaviya was earlier the minister of state with independent charge in the shipping ministry. He was also the junior minister for chemical and fertilisers.