New Delhi [India], April 12 (ANI): Congress President Sonia Gandhi has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying that most of the states have been left with vaccine stock of just 3 to 5 days and called for substantially ramping up domestic production capacity and allowing emergency use authorization of all vaccine candidates that have the required clearances.
She said categories eligible for vaccination should be expanded on the basis of need and exposure rather than just age.
She also said that all equipment, instruments, medicines required to deal with the Covid-19 crisis should be made completely exempt from GST.
Gandhi referred to her interaction with the Chief Ministers of party-ruled states and ministers from states where Congress has alliance governments and called for putting in place minimum monthly guaranteed income and transfer Rs 6,000 in every account of poor eligible citizens to help them during the situation created by COVID-19.
She said she was highlighting the issues for appropriate action in a spirit of constructive cooperation:Gandhi said vaccines are the foremost hope of people.
"Sadly, most of the states, including those ruled by the BJP and its allies, are left with a stock of just three to five days. 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 said.
"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 in that particular state," she added.
The Congress chief said that even ventilators, oximeters and oxygen cylinders presently attract GST, as do key life-saving drugs like Remdesivir and Dexamethazone.
"All equipment, instruments, medicines and support infrastructure required to deal with the Covid-19 crisis should be made completely exempt from GST," she said.
Gandhi said as the situation is controlled by resorting to curfews, travel restrictions, closures and lockdowns, "we will again be restricting economic activity that will hit the already beleaguered people - especially the poor and the daily wagers very, very hard".
"It is with all earnestness that I appeal to you to put into place the much-needed scheme of minimum monthly guaranteed income in place and transfer an amount of Rs 6,000 in every eligible citizen's account," she said.
Gandhi said that with reverse migration of labour already having started, it will be critical to immediately address their needs of safe and seamless transportation, as indeed their suitable rehabilitation in the host as well as home states. (ANI)