Updated: June 2, 2021 4:22:47 pm
Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga Monday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting the Centre to procure Covid-19 vaccines and distribute them to states, free of cost. The chief minister highlighted Mizoram’s special category status and cited “stressed economic resources” as a reason for his request.
In a video statement on Wednesday, Zoramthanga said “Mizoram is a small state with limited financial facilities. I have written to the Prime Minister requesting Covid vaccines. States like Mizoram and other states in the Northeast…we are badly in need of financial assistance. So I requested the Prime Minister to give us free vaccine supply. If it is possible for the Central government to give this to all the states of India, it will be very fortunate.”
Speech 02.06.2021 https://t.co/uUT6zhHdMu
— Zoramthanga (@ZoramthangaCM) June 2, 2021
Zoramthanga also requested other chief ministers of the Northeast region to support him in his request. Tagging their official handles, CM Zoramthanga tweeted on Tuesday that he requests all Northeastern chief ministers to “take a similar line of action so as to present a united front to the Govt of India.”
Humble request for special category states like us to be provided with vaccines free of charge by the Govt of India; to save our stressed economic resources!@narendramodi @AmitShah @himantabiswa @Neiphiu_Rio @NBirenSingh @SangmaConrad @PSTamangGolay @BjpBiplab @PemaKhanduBJP pic.twitter.com/W4cGRokZ4e
— Zoramthanga (@ZoramthangaCM) June 1, 2021
While a number of Opposition states have written to the Centre with a similar demand, the Zoramthanga-led government of Mizo National Front is an ally of the NDA, having extended issue-based support to it.
In the letter addressed to PM Modi dated May 31, Zoramthanga requested that the Centre intervene to “buy the entire vaccine requirements and make equitable distributions to all the States.”
Zoramthanga reasoned that while most parts of the country appear to have reached a stage where the new cases of Covid-19 were declining, cases are still increasing in the Northeast. “The Covid-19 pandemic put serious stress on the resources of the country, and this has far more severe impacts on small states with small resource bases like Mizoram,” he said.
“As the availability of the vaccine in the Country is finite, the Central Government and all the States buying separately do not help improve availability but also complicate the logistics and put additional financial burden on small States. I also request that special category states like Mizoram are provided vaccines free of charge by the Government of India,” he said in the letter.
Last month, Zoramthanga had said that Mizoram was reeling under an economic crisis due to a combination of factors, including Covid-19 lockdown, an outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF), massive wildfire reported in April as well as influx of people due to the coup in Myanmar. News agency PTI had quoted him saying that the state’s share of taxes has “dropped by Rs 1,500 crore during the fiscal 2020-2021.”
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