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Tope: Centre must form national policy to rule out hurdles for states

State health minister Rajesh Tope said that although the global tenders floated by the Maharashtra Government and the BMC have received some response, there are many lacunae in the submitted bids.

Written by Atikh Rashid | Pune |
Updated: May 29, 2021 4:45:33 am
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said the Central government must also formulate a national policy for the import of vaccines so that the process is streamlined. (AP Photo/Representational)

STATE GOVERNMENTS trying to import Covid-19 vaccines will continue to face hurdles until the Centre intervened, said Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope on Friday.

The central government must also formulate a national policy for importing vaccines so that the process was streamlined, Tope said.

Speaking to the media after chairing a Covid-19 review meeting in Pune, Tope also said although the global tenders floated by Maharashtra and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation had received some response, there were many lacunae in the submitted bids.

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“Until and unless the Government of India intervenes and formulates a national vaccine import policy, the states will continue to face hurdles. In response to the global tenders floated so far, several firms have responded but there are lacunae in the bids. Some companies like Pfizer have made it clear that they will parley with the central government and not with individual states. So the central government must intervene and resolve issues,” he said.

In the GST Council meeting held on Friday, Maharashtra has also demanded tax exemption for medicine and equipment required for the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It is an important demand from the state (Maharashtra). Today (Friday), several states pressed for exemption as it will help them in the fight against Covid,” said deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar.

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