Updated: June 5, 2021 12:17:21 am
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal Friday demanded a criminal case be registered against Health minister Balbir Singh Sidhu and that he be dismissed immediately for selling 80,000 out of the one lakh vaccine doses received from the centre at a hefty profit to private hospitals and for also allowing the latter to charge the common man a further premium on the doses.
The SAD President was at Talwandi Sabo to launch the second Vaccine Sewa centre established by the Shiromani Committee where people were vaccinated free of cost. He was accompanied by SGPC President Bibi Jagir Kaur and former union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal.
Terming the self profiteering as well as allowing private institutions to profit at the cost of human lives as an inhuman act, Sukhbir Badal said “Balbir Sidhu cannot get away with this criminal act by feigning ignorance about the entire issue. It is his department officers who have sanctioned this act. Sidhu should be dismissed immediately and a judicial probe should be conducted into this multi-crore scam”, he added.
The SAD President said chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh also encouraged the scam by not taking timely action and was still silent on this crime against humanity.
“Instead of serving the people during a time of health emergency by ensuring speedy vaccination of the common man free of cost, the chief minister is persecuting the people by forcing them to cough up Rs 1560 to Rs 2100 per dose despite receiving the same for only Rs 400 per dose”.
He said it was shocking that the government first jacked up the price of vaccine doses received for Rs 400 to Rs 1060 per dose and then allowed private institutions to sell the same at Rs 1560 per dose. “This is pure and simple loot and the chief minister must tell how this happened under his watch instead of remaining silent and shielding the guilty”.
Sukhbir Badal also expressed deep shock at the manner in which State chief secretary Vinni Mahajan had become a tool in the conspiracy to make private hospitals profit from the sale of vaccines which were received at control rates by the Punjab government.
“The chief secretary went to the extent of tweeting the name of the private hospitals from which people could get themselves vaccinated at steep rates instead of giving information about availability of vaccines in the government sector,” Badal said.
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