India has been witnessing a rain of freebies and offers that are announced with the aim of encouraging people to receive COVID-19 vaccines to beat the pandemic that has been causing distress across the territory for more than a year. India is at the third phase of the vaccination concentrating to inoculate the doses for the major populace of the country.
As the country is reeling towards the third wave of the pandemic amid fighting the horrendous second wave, it is imperative that the country has achieved a larger scale of vaccinations to combat the third wave, and several entities and non-governmental bodies are rolling out freebies and offers for people if they receive the vaccine. In line with that, some of the banks have now announced that they will increase the interest rates of the deposits of the people who received the vaccine.
In what has become the first-of-its-kind fashion, the banks have decided to increase the interest rates if the account holders had received at least one dose of the Covid vaccine. According to reports, some of the state-owned lenders have announced higher interest rates on fixed deposits for a limited period to encourage more COVID-19 vaccination.
Central Bank of India had recently launched the Immune India Deposit Scheme with an additional interest rate of 25 basis points above the applicable card rate for those who had received the vaccine. In a press release, the bank said that the maturity period of the new scheme would be for 1,111 days. Besides the Central Bank of India, UCO Bank had also announced a higher interest rate.
Kolkata-based UCO Bank has said that it is offering 30 basis points or a 0.30 per cent higher rate on fixed deposits of 999 days for applicants who have received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine. A bank official said, "We are also taking minor steps to encourage vaccination drives. We are offering UCOVAXI-999 for a limited period till September 30." The experts say it is a welcoming move that can significantly raise the vaccinated numbers.
On the other hand, a group of non-profit trusts in Chennai have launched a vaccination drive to cover the 18+ population in Kovalam, a fishing hamlet in the outskirts of the city. The group has announced that it will provide a plate of Biriyani and a recharge coupon for the mobile numbers of the people who had received the vaccine. The group had also announced various bumper prizes including a bike, washing machine, and refrigerator.
The group says that after the announcement of freebies, people in the village are coming out from their hesitancy and started receiving the vaccines. According to the Union Health Ministry, India has administered over 23.59 crore doses of the COVID-19 vaccine till 7 pm on Monday. June 7 had marked the country's 143rd day of the vaccination drive and India had administered a total of 31,04,989 vaccine doses on June 7.
The ministry said 27,97,493 beneficiaries were vaccinated for the first dose and 3,07,496 received the second dose of the vaccine. The ministry further said the states like Bihar, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal have administered the first dose of the vaccine to over 10 lakh beneficiaries each in the 18-44 age group.