Kejriwal asks 'where is India' as states float global tenders for Covid vaccines
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said several states floating separate tenders to procure Covid-19 vaccines from abroad is detrimental for India's image in the world. Pitching for centralised procurement of vaccines from abroad, the chief minister said, "Indian states left to compete/fight with each other in the international market. UP fighting Maha, Maha fighting Orissa, Orissa fighting Delhi. Where is “India”? Portrays such a bad image of India."
Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Haryana and Delhi are the 10 states that have decided to go global to procure vaccines as the supply of vaccines in the country is not adequate compared with the population. States, irrespective of whether ruled by the BJP or not, are taking this route as vaccinating the maximum number of people is of paramount importance as of now. As the Centre is prioritising the administration of the second dose of vaccination, Delhi, Maharashtra and Karnataka have stalled the vaccination of people in the age group of 18 to 44 years for the time being.
"Also when we approach vaccine manufacturers and their countries as India rather than individual states, our bargaining power is much more, Indian govt has much more diplomatic space to negotiate with their countries," Kejriwal tweeted.
Vaccine becomes a state versus state battle as richer states will be better positioned in procuring the highest number of vaccine doses.
Giving tender for procuring vaccines is also happening at municipal level as the country's richest civic body, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, on Wednesday floated a global expression of interest to procure one crore doses. Vaccine manufacturers, Indian partners, authorised distributors can participate in the bidding, but they should not belong to countries sharing border with India, the BMC said.