Zahid Maleque came up with this statement at a press conference on Monday at the secretariat in Dhaka over TIB’s report revealed on 12 April.

In that report, TIB said the government claimed to spend Tk 400 billion in buying coronavirus vaccines. But the amount of vaccines that has been purchased is estimated at Tk 180 billion. So, there is a gap of Tk 220 billion [between the government’s claim and the actual cost].

Over the issue, the health minister said, “A total of Tk 200 billion was spent in purchasing the jabs. And we have estimated the monetary value of 95 million vaccines received as gifts [from different countries] is Tk 200 billion—the amount we didn’t spend. We have added up [everything], which doesn’t mean that we had to spend Tk 400 billion.”

He also said, "TIB conducted the survey collecting information from only 105 centres. They only talked to 1800 people over the phone. But we inoculated vaccines to over 200 million people."

The minister questioned the survey because of 'insufficient participants'.

"TIB said people had to bribe an average Tk 67 to receive the coronavirus vaccine. Nowadays, the beggars don’t even take Tk 67," Zahid Maleque said.