Mayawati slams Punjab government for profiteering during emergency
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Saturday hit out at the Congress-led Punjab government for allegedly selling COVID-19 vaccine doses procured under the state quota to private hospitals at a higher rate, saying profiteering during an emergency is indecent and inhuman. Her remarks came a day after the Punjab government ordered a probe into the allegations.
Centre should take cognizance of this: BSP
In a tweet in Hindi, Mayawati said, "The Congress government of Punjab is buying COVID-19 vaccines at Rs. 400 (each) from the Centre and selling them to private hospitals at Rs. 1,060 instead of passing on the benefits to the people through government hospitals." "Congress's stand on vaccines so far lacked seriousness. The BSP demands that the Centre take cognizance of this," she said.
Here is Mayawati's tweet
1. पंजाब की कांग्रेस सरकार द्वारा कोरोना वैक्सीन को केन्द्र से 400 रुपए में खरीद कर उसे सरकारी अस्पतालों के ज़रिए जनता को उसका लाभ देने के बजाय उसे प्राइवेट अस्पतालों को 1,060 रुपए में बेचकर आपदा में भी मुनाफा कमाने का कृत्य अशोभनीय, अमानवीय, निन्दनीय व अति-दुर्भाग्यपूर्ण। 1/2— Mayawati (@Mayawati) June 5, 2021
Doses were recalled and will now be administered free
"The Punjab government asked private hospitals to return all vaccine stock meant for the 18-44 age group. The recalled vaccine doses will be administered free to this age group by the government," State Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said. Punjab started phase three of vaccination (18-44 age group) from May 10, nine days late from the nationally launched campaign on May 1.
Centre has sought a clarification from the state
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar had on Friday alleged that the Punjab government received over 1.40 lakh doses of COVAXIN at Rs. 400 each and gave some of them to 20 private hospitals at Rs. 1,000 each. The Centre has also written to the Punjab government seeking clarification over reports that it sold COVAXIN to private hospitals and earned a profit.
More than 52 lakh vaccine doses administered in Punjab
Punjab administered 55,091 doses in the last 24 hours to take the total vaccination tally to 52,01,174. Out of the total number, 44,12,261 have received the first dose while 7,88,913 has had the benefit of the second dose as well. Meanwhile, the vaccination program at a national level has seen the administration of 22,78,60,317 doses to date.