Clear more vaccines fast, says Sonia Gandhi to PM Modi
- The Congress president also suggested that all equipment, medicine and support infrastructure for Covid-19 should be exempted from the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking for emergency approval of all vaccine candidates with required clearances, vaccination for anyone who demands it and minimum monthly guaranteed income of ₹6,000 in every eligible citizen’s account to help them cope with Covid-19-induced lockdowns in various places.
The Congress president also suggested that all equipment, medicine and support infrastructure for Covid-19 should be exempted from the Goods and Services Tax (GST). In the letter dated April 12, Gandhi informed the PM about a meeting she held with all Congress- and ally-ruled states, and said: “While it will be necessary on one hand to substantially ramp up our domestic production capacity, it will also be prudent to allow emergency use authorization of all the vaccine candidates that have the required clearances, without any further delay.”
Gandhi’s letter was released minutes after Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine got emergency use authorisation by a subject expert committee of India’s drug controller. Experts say the entry of Sputnik V will beef up the availability of Covid-19 vaccines in the states that, till Sunday, depended on Covaxin and Covishield.
Gandhi maintained that most of the states, including those ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies, are left with stocks of just 3-5 days. Asking for vaccines for all, she wrote: “Vaccines are our foremost hope. Accordingly, with enhanced availability, categories eligible for vaccination should be expanded on the basis of need and exposure rather than just age. In the same vein, the numbers allocated to a state has to be based on the prevalence and projection of infection....”
On Monday, Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter and urged people to speak up for the vaccines-for-all and urged the PM to stop “eventbaazi” and open up the immunisation drive.
In a minute-long video, Rahul attacked the PM and echoed the concerns of other Congress leaders over an uncertain atmosphere in the country regarding the pandemic.