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NEW DELHI : The intellectual property rights (TRIPS) waiver for five years agreed during the 12th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization will help developing countries manufacture patented covid-19 vaccines to deal with the pandemic, commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal said on Monday.

The agreement on patent waiver on covid-19 vaccines will allow India and other eligible developing countries to manufacture and export vaccines without seeking permission from the original maker and also export to other needy countries for five years.

However, at a press conference, Goyal said India already has the technology to manufacture vaccines and that the waiver can help other developing countries to make vaccines.

“We have sufficient types of vaccines... So, for the current strains of covid-19, we do not need this TRIPS waiver. We have supported it more for the other developing countries to manufacture vaccines," Goyal said.

To be sure, talks on including therapeutics and diagnostics, proposed by India and South Africa, will start after six months.

He further said that no questions would be raised on India’s public stock holdings, procurement through minimum support price and support given to farmers. Earlier, WTO members had said that several developing nations distort prices by giving excessive subsidies.

Notably, India has agreed to do away with export restrictions on procurement by the UN World Food Programme on the condition that it will have the flexibility to curb exports to ensure domestic requirements.

India’s other demand for allowing exports from its public stockholdings to countries in need on a government-to-government basis will be discussed along with other agriculture issues in the next ministerial conference.

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