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Sukhbir attacks Centre, Punjab government for failing to deliver vaccine to people

Badal also requested the Central government to waive GST on Covid medicines, oxygen concentrators, ventilators, and vaccines.

By: Express News Service | Amritsar |
May 30, 2021 4:22:15 am
SAD president Sukhbir Badal and SGPC president Bibi Jagir Kaur watch as a beneficiary gets inoculated. (Express Photo by Rana Simranjit Singh)

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal on Saturday alleged that both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had failed to fulfill their duties to provide vaccines to the citizens.

The SAD president’s remarks came while he was inaugurating a free vaccine camp outside Golden Temple Amritsar, which is an initiative of the Shiromani Gurudwara Parbhandak Committee (SGPC).

Badal said, “I am surprised as to why the Union government is dragging its feet in giving permission to world-renowned companies like Pfizer and Moderna to export their vaccines to India. All needed permissions should have been expedited.”

He added, “Chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh should place direct orders with companies who were supplying vaccine in the country, instead of waiting days for the limited supply from the Central government to trickle into the state. The Punjab government should follow the example of the Mumbai municipal corporation, which used Rs 600 crore to purchase vaccines, and allocate at least Rs 1,000 crore for the purchase of vaccines immediately.”

The SAD president also trained his gun on Captain Amarinder on the power tariff issue and said, “The Congress government is projecting a Re 1 reduction in power tariff for consumers who had a two-kilowatt power connection for the first two hundred units only. These units are supposed to be given free of cost, as was done by the previous SAD government. Truth is that the power tariff had been increased not only for trade and industries, but also for charitable hospitals who are engaged in saving lives. If the Congress government was really serious about providing relief to the common man, then it should have waived power bills for at least six months.”

Badal also requested the Central government to waive GST on Covid medicines, oxygen concentrators, ventilators, and vaccines.

He said, “I don’t understand why the Centre wants to earn money by taxing life-saving medicines and machines to make them more expensive for the people. Even SGPC had to pay GST on the purchase of vaccines. This must be waived immediately”.

246 vaccinated on Day 1 of SGPC camp

On the first day of the free vaccination camp, at least 246 people were vaccinated, SGPC officials said.

After spending about Rs 53 lakh, the SGPC has arranged 5,000 doses of Covaxin doses for this camp, which will be administered to the people free-of-cost.

SGPC president Bibi Jagir Kaur said, “Since the people were not getting vaccines and the Punjab government had failed to procure supplies directly from the companies, the Centre should allow SGPC to import vaccines.”

She added, “SGPC has so far set up nine Covid Care Centres at various places of Punjab, from where about 900 patients have been cured. Now the SGPC has started Covid vaccine camps. Arrangements will also be made to start the vaccination camps at Takht Sahibs, after the camp at Sri Darbar Sahib. The SGPC had been administering free vaccines at Sri Guru Ramdas Medical College for some time and efforts would be made to order more vaccines in the coming days.”

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