New Delhi: Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday called upon the global community to ensure timely and equitable availability of vaccines and medicines for Covid-19, in sufficient quantities and affordable prices. Also Read - Plastic-Free India: Soon, Eco-Friendly 'Kulhads' to Replace Plastic Tea Cups at All Indian Railway Stations

In his intervention at the virtual informal meeting of WTO Ministers, Goyal said that India and South Africa have proposed ‘TRIPS’ waiver to address the challenges that countries with limited manufacturing capacity will face, in accessing these medical supplies. Also Read - PM Modi to Interact with Three More COVID-19 Vaccine Developing Teams on Monday

“Goyal said that the Covid-19 pandemic has brought out the inherent weaknesses and inequalities in the global economic and trading system. The need of the hour is to take effective measures to address the immediate challenges, and also prepare a long-term roadmap on how to reform an ailing and imbalanced global trading system,” a Ministry of Commerce and Industry statement said. Also Read - Chennai Man Who Took Part in 'Covidshield' Vaccine Trial Alleges Neuro Breakdown, Seeks Rs 5 Crore Compensation

“Goyal said that India believes that every crisis presents big opportunities for new and innovative pathways to progress. He said that meaningful and equitable reform requires us to re-imagine the multilateral trading system and fix what has not worked in the last 25 years.”

On the heightened challenges of food and livelihood security due to pandemic, the minister suggested that an immediate response to the food security challenge would be to deliver an effective outcome on the mandated issue of a permanent solution for ‘Public Stockholding for food security purposes (PSH) at MC12’.

In addition, Goyal said that pandemic has highlighted the need for easier cross-border movement of healthcare professionals.

He called for a multilateral initiative that provides for easier access to medical services under mode-4 needs to be launched immediately and “we should aim to deliver this outcome by MC12”.